UKGC Criticised For Not Monitoring How Gambling Fines Are Spent
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has taken a tough approach in recent years when it comes to cracking down on gambling operators that do not comply with gaming regulations.
As problem gambling numbers continue to rise each year, the UK gambling watchdog has imposed heavy fines on operators who breach gambling laws in an attempt to send a strong message to the rest of the industry.
The Gambling Commission had to disclose how much of money it had collected in gambling fines and how that money was spent after the Gambling Business Group (GBG) put in a request for information. The disclosed showed that the UKGC had received £58.9 million in fines between June 2014 to December 2019. The report also asked for the UKGC to give account as to how those funds were spent.
The information provided by the Gambling Commission shows that gave back £24 million to individuals who had been conned by illegal gambling operators, spent £34.8 million on socially responsible gambling practices and another £756,997 on their own internal investigations into this matter.
The GBG made it known that they had earlier requested the UKGC for this info through a number of different channels but got no response from the Commission. As a result, Peter Hannibal who is the CEO of the GBG was forced to raise a FOI request to obtain this information.
UKGC Has Not Accountability Process In Place
After the UKGC release this information, the gambling watchdog came in for a lot of criticism as it was apparent that they did not have proper protocols in place to monitor how effectively their funds were being used to improve and expand social gambling practices.
With problem gambling becoming a big concern for the UK Government, Peter Hannibal said he was surprised by the approach the UKGC had adopted with regards to the funds being spent. Hannibal went on record to state that all gambling stakeholders in the country are in agreement when it comes to the importance of funding research, education and treatment (RET) of problem gambling.
Given the fact that millions of dollars were being given to these causes, the UKGC should have had an effective evaluation process in place to monitor how these funds were being used and what difference these funded programs were making. The UKGC is yet to response to these strong remarks!
Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world