In the United Kingdom and the Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group has announced the launch of an official inquiry into the effectiveness and competence of the country’s Gambling Commission regulator.
Comprised of twelve legislators from the House of Lords and House of Commons, the body used an official Sunday press release to detail that the examination comes as the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is conducting an almost year-long complimentary investigation into the current state of the nation’s iGaming industry. This latter probe is eventually expected to culminate before the end of the year in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) laying out its recommendations via the publication of a ‘white paper.’
The Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group declared that it decided to independently look into the Gambling Commission after many in the industry expressed their belief ‘that there are still many outstanding questions’ concerning the regulator’s ‘approach and actions.’ The cross-bench group stated that it is now inviting ‘all operators and their advisers’ to contribute to the probe by submitting any evidence that shows the watchdog ‘acting in a way they feel is unacceptable.’
Scott Benton (pictured) serves as the Co-Chair for the Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group and he used the press release to explain that operators now have until the end of October to submit their evidence via the website at APBGG.org, which already features recent examples of allegations made against the Gambling Commission. The Conservative Member of Parliament for the nation’s Blackpool South constituency moreover pronounced that all allegations are to remain anonymous owing to concerns ‘that members of the industry may be too scared to publicly criticize’ the regulator.
The Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group asserted that it would like to hear evidence concerning a trio of categories including where operators believe the Gambling Commission may have acted ‘beyond the powers of a regulator.’ The organization pronounced that parties are additionally being invited to get in touch if they feel the watchdog breached its own code of conduct under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006 or provided the industry with ‘a level of service that is either of poor quality and/or incompetently delivered to a level that brings into question its ability to adequately function.’
Should the received replies prove compelling and the Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group proclaimed that it would invite the DCMS to review the powers of the Gambling Commission as part of that body’s ongoing probe, ask the regulator’s recently-installed Interim Chief Executive, Andrew Rhodes, to answer questions and publicly distribute the findings of its examination.
Read a statement from Benton…
“I believe it is essential that the key player in our industry is challenged over its actions. For a number of years, industry members have come to us and complained about the activities of the Gambling Commission but they have been too scared to go public with their concerns. As they have no formal method of complaint apart from to the Gambling Commission itself, we feel it is our duty to provide a conduit for legitimate criticism of the regulator.”