Grave new world order for British gambling operators

David Clifton explains why two recent events – a Gambling Commission speech at the IAGA International Gaming Summit and the Commission’s new enforcement strategy – have served to disclose a clear dichotomy between:

  • on the one hand, the Commission’s very firmly held opinion that the gambling industry must take its social responsibilities seriously and focus more on what its customers, communities and society expects of it, and
  • on the other hand, the equally firmly held opinion by some industry respondents to the enforcement strategy consultation that the Commission’s consumer-focused rationale for the tougher enforcement regime amounts to, at best, “regulatory creep” or, at worst, the Commission exceeding its powers and remit by seeking to extend both its regulatory authority and the licensing objectives under the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act.