Mishcon de Reya

As the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) prepares the first round of a series of consultations with the gaming industry over the Gambling Act review, law firm Mishcon de Reya has issued an update on the legal requirements discussions must meet.

Last week, the UKGC marked several proposals of April’s White Paper for consultation with the industry and other stakeholders, notably finance risk checks. Also opening consultations is the DCMS, which has highlighted slot stake limits as a key area.

In an update today, London-headquartered Mishcon de Reya emphasised that the UKGC’s consultations must meet the established legal requirements of being ‘fair and lawful’.

The consultations must be conducted whilst the White Paper’s recommendations are at a formative stage and stakeholders must be able to respond to proposals ‘meaningfully’ by being provided with ‘sufficient information and explanation’.

The Commission – and most importantly the DCMS – must also take into account the aforementioned responses from stakeholders before reaching a final decision.

Mishcon de Reya stated: “These principles are also enshrined in the Cabinet Office consultation principles, which the Commission has undertaken to comply with.”

The law firm also noted that there are several ‘consultation principles’ established by the Cabinet Office. Firstly, consultations need to be clear and concise and informative, complete with a validated impact of costs and benefits.

Additionally, the Commission has to conduct the consultations in line with the ‘good regulation’ clauses of the ‘Regulator’s Code’ – this requires transparency and avoidance of ‘unnecessary regulatory burdens’, using the least intrusive approach.

Lastly, public bodies involved in consultations – the UKGC and DCMS – need to publish responses which ‘facilitate scrutiny’, and in a timely manner. Examples of scrutiny include stating the number of responses received and how these responses informed a policy decision.

Part of the ‘Silver Circle’ of high-profile UK law firms, Mishcon de Reya has an active betting and gaming legal team and has commented on some prominent issues affecting the industry in the past, such as the implication of Brexit. 

The company was also consulted by GVC Holdings – before its rebranding to Entain – as part of an 11-firm panel examining how the then-FTSE250 group could improve legal counsel across its operations back in 2020.