David Clifton from Clifton Davies Consultancy shared his knowledge concerning the main issues of operator-regulator interaction on the gambling market.
If you are an operator or someone operating in the UK market, how not to lose your license?
It takes a professional advice at the very beginning. If the situation is that the UK gambling regulator is investigating you and the reason for that is your company’s recklessness or negligence, in other words – systemic errors, that sort of thing are really going to cause huge problems. But starting point is to take a proper advice.
Things are moving and changing when we speak about the regulations here in the UK. How can operators be more proactive on staying on top of what they must remain compliant with?
This may sound like an advertisement of my services, but certainly, what the UKGC are encouraging, because we’ve seen it in settlements that whether they have laid out what they require the operators to do is insure that an operator one is keeping abreast of what the requirements are. I am rotten on many occasions as indeed of other advices, in order to conduct effectively independent audits of compliance processes and systems just to guarantee that they are where they ought to be. In such situations, it is necessary to remember that if that is what you do, and there is a report showing serious failings, then that is something which of itself will need to be produced to the regulator anyway. It is extremely important. There is so much that the UKGC issue themselves. They issued an enforcement reporting June last year and that tells operators what to do and saves money, they don’t need any consulting services. It is imperative to follow the best practice guidelines. There is a list of questions. All they have to do is answer those questions themselves and they’d save a huge amount of money.
The UKGC is one of the strictest and most respected out there. Do you believe that Brexit has anything to do with how the UK regulator will be acting from this point forward?
No, I don’t.
In your communication with the Commission, how do they talk about the future, the economy here in the UK in terms of gambling? Anything juicy you can share with us?
No, only that messages from the UKGC for the last 3-4 years have been constantly about raising standards and increasing fines until those standards are reached. I think operators understand that they must regain the trust of the public. Now it’s 30%, it was 49% ten years ago, and this is the real message that should be taken into the consideration. The Gambling Commission, as any regulator that follows those principles, should not stand in the way of economic development of a business. It would be justifiable only if there is a very good reason for them to go in there and intervene. I’d paraphrase that, but that’s the essence of it.
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