UKGC: Protecting customers key amid COVID-19 challenges

A statement released by Neil McArthur, chief executive officer of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), has confirmed that following Public Health England guidance, it has informed all of its staff to work remotely until further notice. 

The move to have all employees work from home is a result of the developing COVID-19 outbreak, however, the UKGC has reiterated that despite the unprecedented circumstances currently being faced, it is implementing a business continuity plan that will ensure the impact on its regulatory work and advice services remain minimal. 

A statement from McArthur read: “As the situation with COVID-19 continues to impact daily life in Great Britain, like many of you, the Commission is following Public Health England guidance and we have told all staff to work from home until further notice.

“We recognise these unprecedented circumstances will be having a significant impact on your business and many will be facing uncertain and unsettling times. The Commission has a well-practised and comprehensive Business Continuity Plan, which we have invoked with the intention of minimising the impact on our regulatory work and the advice and services we provide.

“A number of operators have already contacted us to alert us to the challenges they face and seek our advice about how to respond. We realise that the unprecedented changes to daily life, and in some cases, financial uncertainty, will create challenges for your business. The changes will also increase the risks to some individuals, which means that despite the fact that these are challenging times we must all continue to protect consumers.”

The UKGC has since issued advice to its licensees in which it has directed them to first and foremost follow public health guidance, before instructing gambling facilities to ensure that sufficient management, staffing and oversight is in place to maintain compliance. 

Moreover, the commission has also reminded online operators to ‘continue to act responsibly, especially in regards to individual customer affordability and increased social responsibility interactions.’

McArthur concluded: “Please get in touch with your Account Manager in the normal way to notify of any key events or questions you have during this time. If you have other questions or queries, please let me know and I will do my best to get you an answer.”