The United Kingdom is set to become a world leader in safer gambling practices.
That’s the promise made by Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), at the “Raising Standards” conference held at the South Bank Centre in London.
“Any operator that tries to bend the rules or is unwilling to comply with the high standards we set will find the Commission is willing and able to drive them out of the British market,” he warned.
Few punters need further confirmation that the UKGC, and most stakeholders in the British gaming industry, are taking the issue of safe gambling very seriously.
Talking on the eve of the industry’s “Safer Gambling Week”, McArthur addressed the relationship between licensees and the regulator – and the upcoming review of the 2005 Gambling Act, legislation that needs to be updated and made fit-for-purpose for the age of digital gambling.
“The ‘experiment’ of working collaboratively to accelerate progress that results in tangible improvements for customers has been shown to work, and we want to build on that approach,” affirmed McArthur.
“I work in the best interest of customers,” he said. “It is not my job to promote the gambling industry. But [this] doesn’t mean that the relationship between the regulator and its licensees has to be adversarial. We want to support the industry in raising standards.”
“We are working hard to make Great Britain the safest place to gamble in the world and we need you to work with us to achieve that outcome.
“The fact that everyone has kept customer protection at the top of their agendas–despite all the [recent and current] challenges–tells me that we are on the right track,” stressed the UKGC boss.
Referring to the review of the Gambling Act, McArthur continued:
“I want to make it crystal clear that we will not be taking our foot off the accelerator whilst the review takes place. We are making progress in lots of areas and we must continue to work together to make gambling safer. None of you should get distracted from the task in hand.”