Licensing changes afoot at the Gambling Commission

Applying for an operating licence? Make sure it’s complete or risk rejection

To speed up processing time for new operating licence applications, the Gambling Commission has announced that, with effect from 4 June 2018, it will be rejecting any incomplete application. It will also only accept new operating licence applications that have been submitted online.

It says that this is to reduce the time taken by its licensing team chasing applicants for supporting documents and incomplete information. It has warned that any incomplete operating licence application will be rejected and any fees paid refunded. In such circumstances, it will make it clear to the applicant why it has been returned and what information is missing. It will also be adding a checklist to its website to help new applicants submit a complete application.

It adds that while this is currently only applicable to new operating licence applications, it does intend to apply this approach to all application types in the future.

New call-back arrangements

The Commission has also announced that, following a successful trial, it will be introducing new call-back arrangements on a permanent basis, with the aim of responding to all calls and emails within three working days. It says that:

  • if you have made an application or have a licence and need assistance from the Commission’s Licensing team you should email
  • you can also call the Commission on 0121 230 6666, press option 2 and leave a message that includes your name, the name on the licence, your account number (if known) and a brief description about what it is that you would like to discuss.

Making changes to your operating licence?

If you plan to make any changes to your operations, the Commission asks that you ensure you allow them at least 10 days to process the changes.

It reminds pool betting operators that they may need to consider whether they need to vary their licence in light of pool betting changes due to take effect on 12 July 2018, when the Tote’s exclusive licence to provide pool betting on British horseracing expires, with the consequence that, after that time, all operators will be able to provide pool betting on British horseracing, subject to holding the requisite pool betting operating licence. The Commission has said that it envisages that the marketplace will evolve over the coming months. By clicking on the following links, you can find out more about the Commission’s position in relation to possible licensing arrangements which may emergerecording of Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) for regulatory return and fee category purposes and the need for consumer transparency.

The Commission also reminds all other operators to check that they are in the correct fee category, pointing out that the peak annual fee period starts in July and, because annual fees are paid in advance of the anniversary date, operators should ensure that any changes to the fee category are submitted as soon as possible.