The Gambling Commission has published its 2019-20 Business Plan (that can be downloaded below), outlining the Commission’s key areas of focus for the next 12 months.
The foreword to the Business Plan reads as follows:
We exist to safeguard consumers and the wider public. We do that by regulating gambling, including the National Lottery, and giving advice and guidance about how to make gambling fairer and safer.
We put consumers at the heart of our approach, which requires
us to strike a balance between the enjoyment people get from gambling and the risks that gambling can present. Managing those risks is not just the responsibility of the individual consumer. That is why we assess risks by looking at the providers of gambling, the products that are offered and the places in which people gamble.
Our approach allows us to respond to emerging risks and issues, whilst constantly seeking ways to drive up standards. This is especially important due to the challenges and opportunities online gambling and smartphone technology are bringing and the effect that is having on consumer behaviour.
Our five strategic priorities continue to be:
- Protecting the interests of consumers
- Preventing gambling harm to consumers and the public
- Raising standards in the gambling market
- Optimising returns to good causes from lotteries
- Improving the way we regulate
This business plan highlights the projects and milestones we will complete during 2019-20 as we move into the second year of our Strategy 2018-2021.
We will continue to drive forward work to improve the consumer complaints process. We will also explore issues such as gambling on credit cards. We will continue push the industry to raise its consumer protection standards and demonstrate that they know their customers and use what they know to protect them. We will support them by sharing best practice and encouraging collaboration through a programme of workshops, interactive events and partnership working. Where required, we will continue to be tough on regulation and will pursue those who break the rules.
The new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms comes into effect at the same time as this business plan. It has been widely consulted on and will drive real and sustained progress. This year we will also act to secure a more sustainable funding structure for education, prevention and treatment – ensuring the outcomes are measured and evaluated.
Protecting children and the vulnerable from being harmed or exploited by gambling will continue to be a priority, with a focus on the exposure of children to gambling products. Ensuring operators intervene and protect those who are experiencing harm, or are at risk of developing problems with their gambling, will also be a priority. We will continue to work hard to keep out and remove operators and individual personal management licence holders who are unsuitable to operate under our licences.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the National Lottery. Over its lifetime, it has generated £39 billion for good causes benefitting arts, sports, heritage and community projects all over the country; and this success must continue. The competition for the next National Lottery licence will focus strongly on how emerging technology can play a pivotal role in delivering an innovative, safe, interactive and truly world- class offering which continues to benefit society.
Our overriding objective is to make gambling fairer and safer for consumers, in what is a constantly developing market. I am proud of the progress we have made with our ambitious strategy, but I am also clear that there is much more to do.
Commenting on the Business Plan, Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, is quoted on the Commission’s website as saying:
This business plan highlights the projects and milestones we will complete during 2019-20 as we move into the second year of our Strategy 2018-2021. Our overriding objective is to make gambling fairer and safer for consumers, in what is a constantly developing market. I am proud of the progress we have made with our ambitious strategy, but I am also clear that there is much more to do.