Gambling Commission Cannot Handle All Betting Companies
The NAO states that the Gambling Commission is not ready for the increasing quantity of online bookmakers.
According to the published report, the Gambling Commission is much smaller than the betting industry. It warns that the institution has difficulties protecting users from problems concerning online gambling.
The NAO stands for the National Audit Office. This institution exists to monitor the productiveness of different public bodies. The Gambling Commission is one of them. Based on the report, it fails to keep up with the technological advancements that lead to increased online gambling activities. Limited funding has allegedly become an obstacle for the institution since its annual budget is only £19m. however, it has to control the industry which operates with over £11.3bn.
The regulatory body is also limited by other things aside from the funding. What’s more, there is not enough evidence to prove how the changes impact people.
The National Audit Office underlined that the Gambling Commission fails to succeed in dealing with risks and harm brought to users within such a situation.
The document was released after the government decided to take another look at the 2005 Gambling Act. It was also caused by several recent news that shed light on the industry’s goal to rule things.
The most well-known cases cover the news about the VIP schemes, the influence on youth and people addicted to gambling as well as the industry’s connections to soccer.
While the commission has brought the fines from £1.4m to almost £20m within the last five years, it still has difficulties keeping up with the changes and new trends. For instance, from 2014 to 2017, gambling advertising expenses have increased by 56% due to social media platforms and the popularity of the Internet. The document also stated online gambling via smartphones has increased to 44% (compared to 23% five years ago).
Gareth Davies is currently the head of the NAO. He stated that technological developments increase the risk and the small regulatory body cannot keep up with the gambling industry. All the introduced changes are still not enough.
What’s more, the NAO addressed both the Gambling Commission and the Department for DCMS. It suggests encouraging companies to use financial and reputational incentives. It also offers to review the funding sources paying attention to the fees received from the gambling companies for licenses.
The statistics defined that there are over 395 thousand problem gamblers, 55 thousand of them are kids. What’s more, there are over 1.8 million people affected since six more people are influenced by every gambling addict.
The document acknowledged there is no long-term study on measuring the influence of the gambling problem. However, it assumed that the cost would be over £1.2bn annually.
On the other hand, the Gambling Commission responded to the NAO’s report stating that they are working on the new rules and going over the problems and constraints with the DCMS Department.
The Gambling Commission draws attention to all the measures that were taken to impose strict age verification and ban gambling with credit cards. However, it also admitted that much more needs to change. Their goal is to decrease the number of users who are harmed by gambling.
That’s why the DCMS Department focuses on the VIP scams, game design, and ad methods. The representatives also added that it is the reason why the Gambling Act will be reviewed and adjusted to technological developments.
The Department has cooperated with the Gambling Commission for over two years to create new and improved rules. They imply the cut of the maximum betting stakes, the implementation of bigger age restrictions & identity verification. Since April, users won’t be able to use credit cards for gambling.
The UK gambling companies have felt the impact of the regulations since share prices starting to wobble.