The UK Gambling Commission will potentially elevate safer with ‘additional steps’ in protecting vulnerable gamblers following the regulator being deemed as ‘toothless’ and in need of a ‘radical overhaul’.
Issuing its response to a report published by the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee, the UKGC has reiterated its commitment to making ‘further and faster progress’ in tackling problem gambling.
A spokesperson from the Gambling Commission stated: “We are committed to making even further and faster progress to address gambling harms and were already addressing a number of the issues highlighted by the National Audit Office earlier this year.
“Over the past two years we have strengthened player protection measures, tightened the regulation of the online sector, introduced strict age and ID verification checks, brought in a ban on gambling with credit cards, and been tougher through our enforcement activity.
“In recent weeks we have also established an Experts by Experience advisory group who will help us to strengthen our efforts and help ensure we make an impact where it matters.
“We accepted before the Committee that there is always more to do and we are carefully considering the findings of their report to see what other additional steps we can take.”
The parliamentary report was based on a single evidence session with DCMS Permanent Secretary Sarah Healey and Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur and 17 written submissions. It made sweeping recommendations, including:
- Proactive measures for consumer care, such as league tables
- A ‘radical’ improvement on the data collected
- Strengthening of consumer rights
As well as describing the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) as ‘complacent’, the report also highlighted that the way in which the UKGC is funded may be changing very soon – implying that the industry could be picking up the bill.