The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has begun its next set of consultations examining the government’s white paper proposals which cover financial penalties and financial key event reporting.
The consultations – running for 13 weeks – are part of the commission’s second batch which were launched at the end of November, but will have a different closing date of 15 March 2024.
Kay Roberts, Executive Director of Operations at the UKGC, stated: “These consultations are part of our continued drive to ensure Britain has the world’s most effectively regulated gambling sector.
“We would urge all our stakeholders to take the time out to have their say on these consultations as all views on proposed changes will be considered.”
Regarding financial penalties, the UKGC is asking gambling stakeholders to share their thoughts to achieve “greater clarity and transparency” regarding the way that penalties are calculated after an operator breaches regulatory rules.
The consultation will ask stakeholders to provide opinions on “a proposal for determining the starting point for the penal element of the penalty by reference to the seriousness of the breach and a percentage of Gross Gambling Yield or equivalent income generated during the period of the breach”.
Looking at financial key event reporting, the UKGC is seeking stakeholder thoughts on relevant information – ownership, finances and interests – that licensees submit to it, as it believes current requirements “risk potential gaps” in understanding a licensee’s financial position and association with others.
Currently, licensees are required to tell the Commission when a person becomes a 3% or more licensee shareholder, as well as when the licensee enters into a loan with an entity that is not Financial Conduct Authority regulated.
However, some licensees are in jurisdictions “where the governance arrangements mean that some licensees cannot meet the 3% shareholder reporting requirement because they cannot access information about shareholdings below this level”.
This has led to some licensees having conditions which allow for a 5% threshold reporting requirement to apply to them.
The UKGC proposes amendments to these rules to account for “the increase in complexity of mergers and acquisitions, and the increased globalisation of gambling”.
The other topics being covered in the regulator’s second batch of consultations include socially responsible incentives; customer-led tools; transparency of protection of customer funds; removing commission requirements that would become obsolete due to the government’s upcoming statutory levy; and regulatory data.