Report calls Gambling Commission "toothless"

Published by Ross Hindle on June 29th 2020, 12:12pm

A parliamentary report has stated that the Gambling Commission and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport have an "unacceptably weak understanding" of how gambling can harm people.

The Public Accounts Committee described the regulator as "toothless" and highlighted its lack of measurable targets for problem gamblers. It also described the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport as "complacent".

Despite complaints, the Commission stated that it had been upgrading player protection measures.

It, did, however, say: "We accepted before the Committee that there is always more to do and we are carefully considering the findings of their report to see what other additional steps we can take."

The report also criticised the body's attitude towards problem gambling.

"The government has approached other public health issues on the basis that prevention is better than cure," the report said. The Public Accounts Committee's role is to scrutinise the value for money of government projects.

"However, the department was unwilling to accept the premise that increasing the commission's budget to prevent harm would be preferable to spending on treating problem gamblers."

Despite the fact that licence fees generate some £19 million for the Gambling Commission every year, the sector turns over more than £11 billion a year, spending an annual fee of around £60 million to treat problem gamblers.

The PAC report stated that there are about 395,000 problem gamblers who "bet compulsively" in the country. Apparently, as many as 1.8 million more are "at risk" of addiction.

"The effects can be devastating, life-changing for people and whole families, including financial and home loss, relationship breakdowns, criminality and suicide.

Meg Hillier MP, who chairs the committee, called for reform.

"What has emerged in evidence is a picture of a torpid, toothless regulator that doesn't seem terribly interested in either the harms it exists to reduce or the means it might use to achieve that."

"The commission needs a radical overhaul: it must be quicker at responding to problems, update company licence conditions to protect vulnerable consumers and beef up those consumers' rights to redress when it fails."

Share this article

The Leaders Council

About The Leaders Council

The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is a network of the most influential figures from across the country. Through detailed case studies, news coverage, podcasts and leadership events, we strive to unearth the authentic voice of British industry. Find out more about our Membership Benefits.

Related News Stories

Authored By

Ross Hindle
Content Director
June 29th 2020, 12:12pm

Follow Us

Follow @LeadersGBNI on Twitter for more live updates

Share this article

Special Reports

SPECIAL REPORT | Published July 4th 2022, 7:22 am

The Impact of the Skills and Post-16 Education Act

SPECIAL REPORT | Published March 4th 2022, 8:31 am

The Impact of the Health and Care Bill

Popular Stories

NEWS | Published August 15th 2022, 12:12 pm

Labour reveals plans to tackle rising energy bills

NEWS | Published August 15th 2022, 12:01 am

Techbuyer: can we do better than IT Recycling?

© Copyright 2022, Leaders Council.