Overseeing one of the largest gaming industries in the world is not an easy task, but the UKGC hopes the commission’s new three-year corporate strategy will help to protect players against the pitfalls of gambling. The commission released the strategy alongside a milestone-driven business plan which details the goals the UKGC hopes to achieve in the year up to 2022.
The UKGC formed as part of the Gambling Act 2005 and is tasked with regulating all forms of commercial gambling across Great Britain. This includes both online and offline gambling such as casinos, sports betting, and the national lottery. The commission constantly reviews and modifies regulations of a gaming industry among the largest in the world. Examples include the upcoming strict new measures coming into force in October this year.
The Three-Year Corporate Strategy Includes a Five-Step Plan
The detailed corporate strategy reveals a number of areas the UKGC aims to improve in the hope of enhancing the oversight of the UK’s gambling industry. Ultimately, the core aim is to continue making consistent improvements on how the UKGC regulates gambling, prevents crime, and protects and educates gamblers. The corporate strategy lists five key areas the UKGC will work on improving in the next three years.
Across the next three years, the UKGC aims to improve the following key areas:
- Protect children and vulnerable people from the harms of gambling
- Improve fairness in the market and making consumers more informed
- Ensuring no crime in gambling
- Optimise returns given to good causes via the National Lottery
- Improve gambling regulation
The key areas listed by the corporate strategy barely differ from those laid out in the previous three-year strategy for the period between 2018 to 2021. However, the UKGC claims the latest strategy is to build on the good work done in these areas across the past few years.
The UKGC Oversees a Huge Gaming Industry – Among the Largest in the World
The UK has one of the biggest regulated gambling markets on the planet, which continues to grow year on year (pre-COVID at least). In the year before the pandemic struck, gross gaming revenue in the UK was revealed as over £14 million. In comparison, Nevada, which is home to Las Vegas recorded just over half that GGR. This growth slowed due to the restrictions put in place because of the pandemic but this was offset a little by the growth enjoyed by the online gambling industry.
Despite COVID-19, GGR of online gambling increased 8% to £5.7 billion this past year. That growth is understandable when you consider lockdowns forcing people indoors.
Although the online gambling industry is booming, the pandemic has forced some land-based betting shops and casinos to close down for good. Currently, the UKGC regulates around 10,000 betting shops but this number continues to fall. Furthermore, regulations that forced automated betting terminals to have a max bet limit of just £2 (down from £100 previously) has also led to the closure of a large number of high street bookmakers.
The UKGC also regulates over 100 online gambling operators which provide video slots, live dealer tables, sports betting, and bingo. Thanks to the strict licensing and regulation carried out by the UKGC, players in Great Britain receive a fair, random, and safe gambling environment. Any online casinos that flout the regulations face financial penalties. Casumo Casino offers an example of what can happen when not towing the line by receiving a UKGC fine of £6 million.