Neil McArthur the Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission has this morning addressed the ARQ Gambling Compliance Forum being held in Malta, with McArthur providing the keynote speech of the forum.
His speech and presentation which can be read in full here, covered the issue of raising standards among licensed UK iGaming operators and the the Gambling Commission’s priorities and operators’ opportunities, from being active and participating in the UK market place.
Since the Gambling Act 2014 came into force on 1st December 2014, any operator wanting to target British consumers has had to have applied for and been awarded a licence from the UKGC. In addition they have had to agree to paying a point of consumption tax on all earnings derived from all customers and consumers based in the UK.
McArthur stated that prior to the amendment to the Gambling Act in 2014, the Gambling Commission only regulated approximately 15% of the online market that was used by UK consumers. Any operator now accepting UK consumers without the necessary licence from the UKGC is now in breach of section 33 of the gambling act and is committing an offence.
During the past five years there has been a requirement for operators wanting to be active in the UK to have a licence, subsequently the Gambling Commission have undertaken investigations into regulatory and compliance procedures carried out by licensed operators over this time.
McArthur stated that what the Gambling Commission has found has not been good enough and that there is more to be done by operators, to ensure that they achieve the standards expected of them by the UKGC.
Providing an analysis of investigations that the UKGC carried out last year in 2018, 123 online casino operators were investigated and of those, 45 were required to provide the Gambling Commission with an action plan to raise standards.
Furthermore, 14 online casino operators were subjected to enforcement investigations. The investigations resulted in 7 operators having penalty packages amounting to £18m meted out. In addition to this, 5 operators surrendered their UK licences and 3 personal management licences were also surrendered.
In closing his speech, McArthur reiterated that operators’ compliance with the letter and the spirit of regulation is not optional, but mandatory.