APBGG accuses British gaming regulator of seriously underperforming

APBGG accuses British gaming regulator of seriously underperforming

The APBGG, Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group, said the Gambling Commission “has become infected with an overtly anti-gambling ideology” and is “actively pursuing ‘getting the industry’.” 

UK Gambling commission

APBGG  demands Culture Shift

According to the findings of an investigation into the regulator’s competence and effectiveness, the UKGC is “seriously underperforming,” has acted beyond its authority, has violated “nearly every provision of the regulator code,” and is “incompetent and ineffective in its duties to the industry it regulates.”

The APBGG continues by stating that it “demands a significant shift in the Gambling Commission’s culture, strategy, and methods,” which it claims will “devastate one of the world’s most respected sports betting and casino industries.” The findings reinforce the perception that the Commission provides “an exceedingly low quality of service, frequently accompanied by incompetence and a fundamental lack of knowledge” about the industry it supervises.

To address the apparent issues, the APBGG made five main recommendations to legislators and the public, with parliamentarians saying that the role of the UKGC should be more clearly defined. The MPs stated that as an unelected body, the regulator should not be responsible for “weighing the benefits of reduced problem gambling numbers against economic neglect and increased illegal gaming,” a task that should be left to elected politicians.

In addition, in response to the UKGC’s actions that constitute a “flagrant violation of virtually every provision of the Regulators Code,” the APBGG asserts that the government’s better regulation executive should conduct an audit of the Commission and a Queen’s Counsel should be appointed to conduct an independent investigation of the authority’s enforcement process.

It states that the DCMS should assume responsibility for the gambling industry’s complaint process since MPs feel operators are “too afraid to use” the current system while any Commission shortcomings remain undetected. Moreover, the group concluded that a distinction between ‘high risk’ and ‘low risk’ gambling operators is necessary to ensure a “proportionate level of regulation,” arguing that this would be the ideal outcome of the Gambling Act overhaul.

The APBGG requires that DCMS respond to the question of whether it is the “Gambling Commission’s responsibility to actively seek a significant decrease in the number of problem gamblers?” – a statutory requirement of its assessment of the 2005 Gambling Act. In response, a UKGC spokesperson told The Guardian: “Some segments of the industry will never be satisfied with a regulator that is constantly pushing for safer gambling.”

“Based on the evidence we have seen, we believe the Gambling Commission has devolved into what appears to be an industry-funded anti-gambling activist group,” the investigation’s findings stated in a media statement.

The APBGG asserts that “unless the Gambling Commission seizes the opportunity of appointing a new chair and CEO and resetting its strategy, focus, and culture,” it would “push tens of thousands of people, some of them incredibly vulnerable, into the unlawful black market.”

Scott Benton, MP, and co-chair of the APBGG, stated: ‘As co-chair of the All-Party Betting and Gaming Group, I am astounded to reveal so much evidence of the Gambling Commission’s improper conduct over the years.

Quotes from the Press Release

“We’ve heard stories for years, but seeing them in black and white is quite startling. To consider that members of our gaming sector, one of the most respectable in the world, who pay the Commission’s salaries, have had to endure such substandard service from their regulator is cause for alarm.

“This is especially true given its portrayal as an anti-gambling outfit whose main objective is to ruin the industry. The Commission has been taken over by ideological extremists who cannot comprehend that the vast majority of Americans enjoy gambling and do it gladly.

“Of course, we want to assist people who are addicted to gambling but not at the expense of excessive and unneeded legislation that will drive many into the arms of the illegal market.

“We urge the Commission and its sponsor, DDCMS, to act swiftly or face the worst-case scenario. As co-chair of the All-Party Betting and Gaming Group, I pledge that our group will do everything possible to maintain pressure on the Commission and DDCMS, as doing nothing, ignoring the contents of our report, would condemn the British gambling industry to certain extinction and thousands of people to the trauma of being pushed into the black market.”


About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.