The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) aims to implement White Paper proposals as quickly and efficiently as possible over the coming years, the regulator’s Executive Director, Tim Miller, informed stakeholders.
Released last week, the beginning-of-the-end of the now four year long Gambling Act review has introduced a raft of proposals for British betting and gaming legislation, including for the lottery sector.
Notable changes for lotteries include an increase in the age requirement for society lotteries to 18 and regulation of ‘prize draw’ competitions, which compete with both the National Lottery and independent lotteries.
Much of the proposals are subject to further consultations with industry stakeholders and advisors, however, and so the clarity many in the industry were hoping for has not quite been realised.
In a blog post, Miller asserted that the White Paper’s proposals are final and that further consultations – which the regulator will be actively involved in, having been granted a number of extra powers – will not provide an opportunity for changes.
“It is our intention that the first set of White Paper-related LCCP consultations will be published this summer and pre-consultation engagement with stakeholders will have begun in a number of other policy areas.
“Importantly, these consultations will be sharply focussed on how changes are implemented. Whilst not all, many questions of public policy have been settled by the White Paper itself. Where they have, our consultations will not be an opportunity to reopen those debates.”
He did note, however, that the White Paper’s proposals are not solid legislative conclusions, and so for now, existing rules and regulations remain unchanged. The UKGC will also continue to strictly uphold compliance standards, having issued numerous fines over the past two years.
Lastly, he also maintained that an evidence-based approach will continue to underpin the development and implementation of White Paper recommendations, stating that stakeholders will be involved in the coming consultations.
He continued: “Whilst we will move quickly to start implementing White Paper commitments, we will also want to ensure that as wide a variety of experiences and expertise inform the way that those commitments are turned into practical reality.
“History shows too many examples of well-meaning policy changes having unintended consequences for the public due to the way they were implemented in the real world. We will not want to make that mistake.”