British MPs Claim Gambling Watchdog a Toothless Entity

British MPs Claim Gambling Watchdog a Toothless Entity

The Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is “toothless” and does not have measurable targets that could help problem gamblers.

An attack on regulatory infrastructure

In a new report, the PAC launched a scathing attack on UKGC. It said that it has an “unacceptably weak understanding” with the regulator in terms of gambling related harm. It went ahead to call the Commission a “toothless” entity that did not have any measurable targets for helping vulnerable populations and problem gamblers.

British MPs Claim Gambling Watchdog a Toothless Entity

The report also named the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and called it “complacent.” The commission, however, suggests that it has tightened player protection measures. It said that there is always more that it could do. The Commission accepted its shortcomings before the Committee and said that it considers their report very carefully to decide what other steps they could take.

Inadequate approach to solving problems

The report noted,

“The government has approached other public health issues on the basis that prevention is better than cure…However, the department was unwilling to accept the premise that increasing the commission’s budget to prevent harm would be preferable to spending on treating problem gamblers.”

The committee compared the license fee that the UKGC collected in 2019, which was £19 million, compared to the revenue of the industry which was £11.3 billion. The industry spends close to £60 million in providing help to problem gamblers.

According to the report, there are around 395,000 problem gamblers in the UK who bet compulsively. It also identified another 1.8 million people who are “at-risk” of gambling addiction like compulsive betting. It said that the effects of problem gambling could be life-changing and destructive for the addicts and their families. It could lead to problems at home and work, financial woes, and a turn towards criminal tendencies and suicide.

The committee chair MP Meg Hillier said that the commission needs reformation. She said that the UKGC isn’t highly interested in the harms related to gambling, how to reduce it and the means it may use to achieve this objective. She called for a “radical overhaul” of the commission that can respond to problems more quickly, update the conditions for licensing firms, and help vulnerable customers and problem gamblers.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.