It’s Open Season on the UKGC

Parliament’s All-Party Betting and Gaming Group (APBGG) has taken its gloves off and effectively opened a new front in its undeclared war on the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

They have launched a probe that will run until October 31 to investigate the “competence” and “effectiveness” of the body that regulates Britain’s gambling industry.

Licensed gaming operators, under the cover of anonymity, will be able to denounce the UKGC to the APBGG under three categories: Has the body overstepped its regulatory powers? Has the UKGC breached its governing code? And, lastly, has the body (only) provided poor and incompetent service?

If there are sufficient complaints, the parliamentary group will submit its findings to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, which has overall control of the nation’s multi-billion-pound betting industry.

The gathered evidence will inform the ongoing Review of the 2005 Gambling Act that aims to update legislation and make it fit-for-purpose for the new and expanded world of both evolving retail-based and online Internet-based gaming.

Andrew Rhodes, (Acting) CEO of the UKGC, will be given right of reply and input to any findings, the APBGG has assured betting industry watchers.

“As Co-Chair of the All-Party Betting and Gaming Group, I believe it is essential that the key player in our industry is challenged over its actions,” said Scott Benton, Conservative MP for Blackpool South.

“Industry members have come to us and complained about the activities of the commission for a number of years. They have been too scared to go public with their concerns due to the commission’s power over them.

“As they have no formal method of complaint apart from to the commission itself, we feel it is our duty to provide a conduit for legitimate criticism of the regulator.”

Stressed Benton: “All the British gambling industry wants is a competent and effective regulator.”

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