Describing the Commission as “a seriously under-performing regulator that has acted beyond its powers,” and being “in breach of almost all the Regulators Code” and is “incompetent and ineffective in its duties to the industry it regulates, “the UK’s All Party Betting & Gaming Group (APBGG) has demanded a significant change in the regulator’s culture, strategy and practices.
These are the damning conclusions of the APBGG’s Investigation into the Competence and Effectiveness into the Gambling Commission.
Motivated by anecdotal evidence from operators about the Commission’s alleged poor performance, conscious of concerns that there was no way to complain apart from via the Commission itself and mindful of the fear that if operators complained, the Commission would respond with arbitrary punishment, the Group invited submissions via their website and promised anonymity. And as is clear from the final report, the results of the investigation are condemning.
The Commission has allegedly committed multiple breaches of almost all the sections of the Regulator’s Code and appears to offer the British gambling industry an incredibly poor level of service, often combined with incompetence and a basic lack of knowledge of the industry it regulates. The APBGG believes that the Gambling Commission “has become imbibed with an overtly anti-gambling ideology and is actively seeking to ‘get’ the industry,” adding that from the evidence received, it “has turned into what appears to be an industry-funded anti-gambling activist group.”
The report concludes that “unless the Gambling Commission grasps the opportunity of having a new Chair and CEO and resetting its strategy, focus and culture, if left unchecked, the Commission will destroy one of the most reputable gambling industries in the world and will force tens of thousands of people, some extremely vulnerable, into the illegal black market where they will get no protection from criminality or problem gambling.”
Scott Benton MP, Co-Chair of the Parliamentary All Party Betting & Gaming Group said: “I am truly shocked to reveal so much evidence of bad practice by the Gambling Commission over the years,” going on to add, “We call on the Commission and its sponsor, the Department for Digital, Culture Media & Sport, to make changes fast or we fear for the worst.”
Copies of the Investigation into the Competence and Effectiveness into the Gambling Commission can be found at the APBGG website: www.apbgg.org