Neil McArthur

Lords Select Committee to probe UKGC’s regulatory approach

Leadership of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will be questioned tomorrow by the House of Lords Select Committee researching the ‘social and economic impacts’ of the gambling industry.

UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur and Chairman Dr Bill Moyes have been scheduled for a two-hour ‘evidence session’ on Tuesday 11 February (start-time 15:20) detailing insights on governing the UK gambling sector.

The evidence session forms part of the House of Lords year-long investigation of the UK gambling industry, led by Lord Michael Grade of Yarmouth.

In its remit, the Committee seeks to establish ‘reliable facts’ on unique industry factors and dynamics with the purpose of developing better regulatory frameworks and future oversight.

UKGC leadership will be questioned on its underlying approach to governing UK gambling and its relationship with industry incumbents – two dynamics that have garnered criticism of the UKGC by MPs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Gambling Related Harm.

APPG members had criticised the UKGC for allowing GVC Holdings to lead the development of a ‘Code of Conduct’ on industry player rewards, branding the decision as a ‘conflict of interest’.

Further questioning will focus on the UKGC’s regulatory policies with regards to penalties, monitoring operator conduct and ensuring consumer protections and safeguards are upheld by licensed incumbents.

In addition, the Committee will question the UKGC ability to keep pace with constantly changing technology trends, consumer habits and ever-changing industry products and services.

Last week, leaders of UK betting’s top-5 operators (bet365, William Hill, GVC Holdings, Sky Bet and Flutter Plc) gave evidence to the House of Lords Select Committee. In the hearing, betting leaders were unequivocal that collaborative frameworks formed between the industry and regulatory authorities as the most effective method to govern the gambling sector, minimising risks and protecting consumers.

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