Some significant proposed LCCP changes are buried within new Gambling Commission consultation

The Gambling Commission is consulting until 20 May 2020 on changes to its regulatory data reporting requirements.

It summarises the consultation on its website as follows:

Our proposals seek to make data requirements more efficient for licensees, and for us, by only requesting data that supports our regulatory aims. These changes seek to:

  • improve data quality and the efficiency of regulation
  • reflect our continued focus on consumers and social responsibility
  • ensure requirements are reconciled against our current and future data needs
  • streamline our existing requirements and, where possible, reduce regulatory burden

The consultation is split into two parts. Part 1 details changes to information reporting requirements within the LCCP, and Part 2 focuses on regulatory returns and official statistics.

Despite this rather succinct and anodyne summary, we strongly recommend that all UK operating licence holders read the whole of the consultation document very carefully because there are significant proposed LCCP changes in relation to which they might certainly wish to provide a response to the Commission. We mention a few examples of this below.

Part 1

Part 1 concerns matters relating to suspicious activity, events that have significant impact on the nature or structure of a licensee’s business (i.e. key events), social responsibility reporting and other reportable events. Overall, the Gambling Commission says it is proposing a reduction in the quantity of information requirements it requires its licence holders to report to it. However, worthy of particular note is the following proposed new licence condition 15.2.3 that would apply to all non-remote and remote casino operating licences:

“Licensees must notify the Commission in such form or manner as the Commission may from time to time specify, or ensure that the Commission is notified, as soon as reasonably practicable of any actual or potential breaches by the licensee of the provisions of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on Payer) Regulations 2017, or any UK Statutory Instrument by which those regulations are amended or superseded”.

In addition, it is proposed that:

  • the existing ordinary code requirements to (a) report to the Gambling Commission matters that will have a material impact on the licensee’s business and (b) inform the Commission of any matters that it would reasonably need to be aware should be elevated to licence condition status and
  • it will also become a licence condition that the Commission must be informed of any material change in a licensee’s structure or the operation of its business, and any material change in managerial responsibilities or governance arrangements.

Part 2

Part 2 focuses on regulatory returns, submitted by operating licence holders. It also covers proposals to improve the Gambling Commission’s official statistics publications. The Commission says that it (a) proposes to reduce the total number of datapoints across regulatory returns and (b) intends to introduce new datapoints that place a greater focus on its “commitment towards consumers and the prevention of gambling-related harms, and to implement several changes focused on improving data quality (for example, harmonised reporting periods)”.

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