UK Gambling Commission Pinpoints Three-Year Strategy to Improve Industry

Posted on: April 2, 2021, 01:33h. 

Last updated on: June 30, 2021, 09:39h.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has laid out its three-year corporate strategy that is designed to improve oversight of the country’s ever-expanding gaming industry. 

UK Gambling Commission Great Britain
Dr. William Moyes, chairman of the UK Gambling Commission, speaks during an event in 2019. The gaming regulatory office has announced its key strategy objectives for the three years ahead. (Image: UKGC)

Formed in 2005 under the Gambling Act, the UKGC is responsible for the regulation of commercial gambling throughout Great Britain. The agency additionally oversees the National Lottery. 

In its publication released yesterday, the UKGC highlights the important work it intends to deliver over the next three years. The ultimate goal is to remain flexible as the fast-changing industry continues to evolve, and also ensure that a competitive bidding process is completed for the next National Lottery license. 

We understand that the gambling businesses we license will need to adapt and respond to the demands of their consumers. But in evolving products and services, consumer protection must be at the forefront of businesses’ minds and plans,” stated UKGC Chairman Dr. William Moyes. 

“Given the innovative and fast-moving nature of the gambling industry, and our intention to help the National Lottery go from strength to strength, our regulatory approach cannot stand still,” Dr. Moyes added. “We need to adapt to live up to the international reputation we have earned as an effective regulator.”

Five-Step Plan

The UKGC plans to accomplish its mission by way of five “Strategic Objectives.” They are:

  1. Protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed by gambling
  2. A fairer market and more informed consumers
  3. Keeping crime out of gambling
  4. Optimize returns to good causes from The National Lottery
  5. Improving gambling regulation

The key issues are similar to the UKGC’s first three-year strategy plan, which debuted in 2018. The 2021 blueprint, the UKGC explains, is designed to build on the achievements and implement policies developed over the past three years. 

The Gambling Commission says the latest strategy plan takes into account the ongoing review of the UK’s gaming industry being conducted by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS). The Parliament agency is considering the UKGC’s powers and resources needed to better regulate the industry.

“We expect the DCMS review to conclude partway through the life of this strategy, so we must balance the need to make progress while remaining flexible to adapt to the outcomes of that review,” the Commission said.

Massive Industry

The UKGC oversees one of the largest gaming industries in the world. 

Prior to the pandemic, total gross gaming revenue (GGR) in Great Britain for the 12 months between April 2019 to March 2020 totaled £14.2 billion, or roughly $20 billion. By comparison, Nevada’s casino industry reported 2019 GGR of $12 billion.

Online gaming in the UK continues to expand. The UKGC says online GGR was £5.7 billion during the 12-month period, an increase of 8.1 percent.

The UKGC oversees more than 10,000 brick-and-mortar betting locations and casinos. That number, however, continues to decrease, as COVID-19 keeps many high street betting shops closed. The 2018 change to the maximum bet on fixed-odds betting terminals dropping from £100 to just £2 also led to hundreds of shops closing.