The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has outlined its new three-year corporate strategy which aims to continue to protect the public and players from harm, as well as its 2021 to 2022 business plan.
The new strategy will be delivered through five priority areas; protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed by gambling, a fairer market and more informed consumers, keeping crime out of gambling, optimising returns to good causes from the National Lottery, and improving gambling regulation.
To help protect children and vulnerable people from being harmed by gambling, the regulator plans to continue to ensure licence holders minimise the risk of gambling harm to vulnerable groups as part of a coordinated effort to understand factors that influence behaviour.
The Commission said it will look to achieve this through improving conduct and competence, continuing to evolve the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice, building a stronger evidence base, and focusing on preventative and regulatory action.
It aims, it said, to deliver a fairer market and more informed consumers by ensuring products are fair and compliant whilst also improving information for players and making it simpler for them to find information on operators they are gambling with. This includes making licence holders’ complaints procedures easier to access and understand.
To keep crime out of gambling, the Commission will persist in tackling those who offer illegal and unlicensed gambling to consumers in Great Britain, whilst also continuing, alongside partner agencies, to prevent activities that lead to money laundering.
Its work to manage risks around sports betting integrity and event manipulation will also continue to be an important feature in future enforcement work.
To help optimise returns to good causes from the National Lottery, the UKGC will ensure the effective management of the third licence continues, whilst also concluding the fair and open competition for the fourth licence, ensuring a smooth and effective transition.
The Commission aims to improve gambling regulation by continuing to support the Government in its Gambling Act Review whilst also building on work it is already undertaking following recommendations from three key reports in 2020 into gambling regulation.
It will work with DCMS to ensure it has the resources to regulate effectively, to ensure employees are continually developed and technology is harnessed to improve systems and processes.
Meanwhile, the UKGC’s 2021-22 Business Plan sets out the priorities to accelerate progress in making gambling and safer for the public and players, including those at risk of harm and leisure gamblers.
It includes a focus on improving the way the UKGC regulates in parallel with other high-profile decisions to be announced later this year, such as the Government’s Gambling Review and a review of its fees by DCMS.
Chair Bill Moyes said: “Our new three-year strategy maintains the ambition of our previous strategy and goes further in considering how best we can use our current resources.
“We launch the new Strategy and our Business Plan, which details our milestones during what is going to be a hugely important year for compliance and consumer protection as the country starts to move out of lockdown after a challenging 12 months.
“Covid-19 has meant a shift in gambling habits and is exactly why the new strategy focuses on protecting consumers from harm, holding operators to account, creating a fairer market for all, and protecting the National Lottery.
Moyes continued: “Additionally, the launch of the Gambling Act Review was a pivotal moment earlier this year and whilst our work continues, we are aware that we must continue to adjust and challenge ourselves depending on the outcomes of the Review.
“Over the next three years, we will see the gambling industry change further, especially as the pace of innovation accelerates. As the regulator, we must keep pace with that change, be ready to adapt, and ensure that the millions of people who gamble in Great Britain can do so safely.”