The Gambling Commission has today (30 July 2020) announced publication of its consultation response document entitled “Changes to information requirements in the licence conditions and code of practice (LCCP), regulatory returns, official statistics, and related matters”, summarising the responses to proposals:
- to change parts of its licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) relating to the information it requires licensees to provide to it, and
- to improve regulatory returns data collection and official statistics publications that (in the Commission’s own words) sought to:
- improve data quality and the efficiency of regulation,
- reflect its continued focus on customers and social responsibility,
- ensure requirements are reconciled against its current and future data needs,
- streamline its existing requirements and
- reduce regulatory burden.
In conducting the above consultation process, the Commission says that its aim was “to ensure the information requirements placed on licence holders are proportionate and effective to inform our regulation of the gambling industry”. You can access our 2 March 2020 report on the consultation here, when we warned that some of the proposed LCCP changes were “significant”.
We set out below the Commission’s following summary of all forthcoming changes (as contained in Annex A of its responses document) and draw particular attention to what we believe to be the most significant LCCP changes highlighted in blue below and numbered:
- 5, 7, 11 & 12 (which have bearing insofar as AML/CTF compliance is concerned, including – in particular – new self-reporting obligations for Money Laundering Regulations, Proceeds of Crime Act and Terrorism Act breaches) and
- 6 (which introduces an additional notification requirement in respect of the insolvency of a 3% (or more) shareholder).
We believe the above to be the most significant changes and you can download below both:
- the Commission’s above-mentioned consultation response document and
- extracts from that document relating to those five aspects (listed above) that we believe to be the most significant of the forthcoming changes.
Summary of changes to licence conditions and codes of practice (that will come into effect from 31 October 2020)
- Changes to licence condition 13.1.1 (Pool betting). We are removing the requirement for operators to notify us about persons they have authorised to offer pool betting on a track in connection with a horserace or dog race in reliance on an occasional use notice.
- Changes to licence condition 13.1.2 (Pool betting – football pools). We are removing the requirement for the reporting to us of persons authorised by licensees in respect of football pool betting.
- Changes to licence condition 15.1.1 (reporting suspicion of offences). We are amending licence condition 15.1.1 to introduce additional text which will enable us to specify the form and manner of the reporting of suspicion of offences etc.
- Changes to licence condition 15.1.2 (reporting suspicion of offences). We are amending licence condition 15.1.2 (1b) to introduce additional text which will enable us to specify the form and manner of the reporting of suspicion of offences, and to provide clarification on the reporting of suspected breaches of betting rules to the appropriate sport governing body.
- Additional licence condition 15.1.3 (reporting of systematic or organised money lending). We are introducing a new licence condition (licence condition 15.1.3) relating to the reporting of systematic or organised money lending.
- Changes to licence condition 15.2.1 (reporting key events – operator status). We are merging licence conditions 15.2.1 (1), (2) and (3) and expanding the condition to include reporting on these occurrences applying to shareholders.
- Changes to licence condition 15.2.1 (reporting key events – relevant persons and positions). We are removing licence conditions 15.2.1 (5), (7) and (9), and making minor adjustments to 15.2.1 (8).
- Changes to licence condition 15.2.1 (reporting key events – financial events). We are removing Licence conditions 15.2.1 (13), (14) and (16), and moving 15.2.1 (15) to “other reportable events” under licence condition 15.2.2.
- Changes to licence condition 15.2.1 (reporting key events – legal or regulatory proceedings or reports). We are making minor amendments to Licence condition 15.2.1 (19a), (19b) and (21), and removing licence condition 15.2.1 (20).
- Changes to licence condition 15.2.1 (reporting key events – gambling facilities). We are updating Licence condition 15.2.1 (25a) to enhance our requirements for the reporting of information security incidents, moving 15.2.1 (26) to “other reportable events” under Licence condition 15.2.2, removing Licence condition 15.2.1 (27), and updating Licence condition 15.2.1 (28) to ensure ‘white label’ website domain changes are reported to us.
- Changes to Licence condition 15.2.2 (other reportable events). We are updating Licence condition 15.2.2, which details other reportable events which must be reported to us; replacing licence conditions 15.2.2 (1a) and (1b) with key events moved into this section, making minor amendments to licence condition 15.2.2 (1c) to make the requirement clearer, and introducing a new requirement to enable us to better manage money laundering and terrorist financing risks to keep crime out of gambling. [NB: Self-reporting of POCA or TACT breaches]
- Additional licence condition 15.2.3 (Other reportable events). We are introducing a new licence condition (Licence condition 15.2.3) requiring licensees to report to us any actual or potential breaches by the licensee of provisions of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on Player) Regulations 2017. [NB: Self-reporting of MLR 2017 breaches]
- Changes to licence condition 15.3.1 (general and regulatory returns). We are amending licence condition 15.3.1 (general and regulatory returns) to simplify the requirement and to harmonise reporting periods across the industry.
- Changes to social responsibility code 3.2.1, 3.2.3, 3.2.5 and 3.2.7 (access to gambling by children and young persons). We are amending social responsibility codes 3.2.1, 3.2.3, 3.2.5 and 3.2.7 to allow us to specify the form or manner of reporting test purchasing results.
- Changes to social responsibility code provision 6.1.1 (complaints and disputes). We are amending social responsibility code provision 6.1.1 to remove the requirement for routine reporting of the outcomes of disputes referred to Alternative Dispute Resolution and court proceedings that are adverse to the licensee.
- Changes to ordinary code provision 4.2.8 (betting integrity). We are amending ordinary code provision 4.2.8. to clarify that licensees should ensure that customers placing bets must not be in breach of any rules on betting or misuse of inside information relevant to a sports governing body.
- Changes to personal licence conditions. We are changing the time within which personal licence holders must report key events to us from up to 5 working days to up to 10 working days.
Regulatory returns and official statistics changes [with one of particular note in relation to land-based casinos highlighted in blue below]
- Regulatory returns – reduce the amount of data we collect. We are removing certain data from regulatory returns to focus on the data we require to fulfil our statutory duties. These include some non-Great Britain, B2C revenue share and Gaming Machine Technical data points.
- Regulatory returns – remove premise acquisitions and disposals reporting. We are removing the requirement for licensees to inform us of any gambling premises they have acquired or disposed of within regulatory returns.
- Regulatory returns – remove the requirement for non-remote casino licenses to report casino-by-casino data. We are removing the requirement for non-remote casino operators to submit regulatory return data on a casino-by-casino basis.5.18 Regulatory returns – remove the requirement for gambling software title reporting. We are removing the requirement for licensees to report individual gambling software titles to us via regulatory returns.
- Regulatory returns – link the requirement for licensees to submit quarterly or annual returns to the aggregate maximum GGY permitted by all their licences. We are changing the requirement to submit quarterly or annual regulatory returns from a sector-based approach, to one based on the aggregate maximum GGY permitted by each of the licence types an operator holds.
- Regulatory returns – improve our digital service for regulatory returns collection. We will improve the usability, accessibility, and availability of our eServices system for submitting regulatory returns and build a new digital service.
- Official Statistics – stop Casino Drop & Win publication. We will stop collecting monthly non-remote casino drop and win data and discontinue producing our monthly Casino Drop & Win publication.
- Official Statistics – improve Industry Statistics publication. Changes to our Industry Statistics publication will include: reducing the time lag from the end of the reporting period to publication of Industry Statistics, changing how we report half- year data, publishing Industry Statistics data broken down by quarterly periods, making the data more accessible and interactive, removing Non-Great Britain data, and presenting business-to-business data separately.
The Commission has added that it will be updating its following guidance documents to reflect changes detailed in the responses document:
For non-remote licensees (except casinos) we have removed the question requiring operators to tell us the addresses of individual gambling premises. We have also removed the requirement for gambling software licence holders to report software titles via regulatory returns. Instead, software titles are to be reported solely via the games register module. These changes follow a consultation on LCCP information requirements, regulatory returns, official statistics and related matters held earlier this year.