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More prescriptive and explicit – but consistent

I wrote last week, when I wasn’t messing about discussing people in boats, about the new gambling licences, and the extent to which the Gambling Commission was seen to be applying double standards between existing licencees and prospective ones.

Later that afternoon, the Commission clarified its stance by publishing a note to industry lawyers, and today  it has put out updated FAQs on the subject.  In between, I also spoke to the Commission, who were keen to hear what concerns exist out there and to lay out where they stand.

The indication I got was that they were pretty confident that they are not favouring the home-grown operator. They added that, “it’s true that we are being much more prescriptive and explicit now that we’ve got the new Gambling Bill than in the past – so it might be true that we are raising points that haven’t really been an issue until now.” The point that the Commission is trying to nail is whether a company has “really thought about what it’s doing in terms of economic risk and money-laundering risk, and has spread its risk, is acting responsibly and is not supporting organised crime.”

The Commission is keen to make clear that it is not trying to make life harder for new applicants, nor take a black-and-white view of law – which it is well aware comes in many shades.  What it is aiming for is “a risk analysis – a framework against which allows us to judge how responsible is that operator” – a framework which it will apply across the board, and retrospectively if necessary. “If there are bits that we’ve missed previously,” I was told, “we’ll be applying the same principles now.”


Posted in Gambling.

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