UK Gambling Commission to change its working

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The UK Gambling Commission has announced plans to introduce a new licensing operation system. Under the current system, the commission gives each gambling operator a dedicated account manager.

The proposals announced on Monday will move away from this method of operating, establishing four sub-groups each dedicated to processing different stages and forms of licensing.

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The four sub-groups and their duties are as follows:

  • The Operating Licence New Group will process new operator licence applications;
  • The Change of Corporate Control Group will process applications relating to changes of ownership and control for current operators;
  • The Operating Licence Vary Group will be responsible for processing applications relating to changes in existing licenses;
  • The Personal Licence Group will be responsible for processing all applications relating to personal licences.

While the broader application process is set to change, the Commission confirmed that the initial process for applying will remain the same. The Commission announced that it longer will accept physical applications.

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In a statement, the Commission outlined the reasons for this change in licence operation: “We are changing our working practices to make the best use of our resources. By working in this way, we hope to be able to process applications more quickly. We also hope to be able to resolve queries more efficiently and effectively.”

This announcement comes after the Commission issued new guidance on customer protection to operators in June 2022. New rules regarding at-risk customers were announced in April and are expected to come into force on 12 September 2022.

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The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport announced a review of the gambling laws in December 2020 amid concerns that too many people are suffering significant harm. An NHS survey in 2018 showed there were about 245,000 problem gamblers in England. A Public Health England study last year estimated there are 409 suicides a year associated with problem gambling. Campaigners want a new levy on the industry to fund research and treatment for problem gamblers.