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Gambling Commission Deputy Chief Executive: 'We have a mature, stable market in Great Britain'

Updated:2024-03-25 13:33    Views:104

The KPMG Gibraltar eSummit took place this week, during which Gambling Commission’s Deputy Chief Executive Sarah Gardner delivered a speech about the current state of Britain's gambling industry.

Gardner is responsible for the Commission’s work in strategy, policy, national lottery, research and statistics among other major projects.

Gardner discussed how the industry is starting to bounce back after being affected by Covid-19: "We’ve been saying this for a little while now but it bears repeating. When we look at the British gambling market, even when you account for the Covid-19 pandemic, it looks and feels like the mature licensed market that it is.

"When we look at our statistics on participation in gambling in Great Britain we see, the year ending March 2022 saw gross gambling yield at £14.1bn ($18bn). When we look at participation,Free games the year ending March 2023 saw 44% of adults taking part in gambling activity in the last four weeks.

"Many things have changed in the world since Covid-19 first hit and gambling hasn’t been immune but that these numbers are similar to where we were in early 2020 does tell a story in and of itself". 

She highlighted that Great Britain has a “mature, stable market." 

Gardner would go on to talk about responsible gambling: "We also think we’re starting to see encouraging signs of operator innovation and competition based on their compliance as well. We started seeing this last year in what operators were saying to the market about the impact newly introduced safer gambling measures were having. Now we’re starting to see encouraging signs from our compliance activity."

"Now we’re starting to see encouraging signs from our compliance activity"

Gardner admitted that there are unwanted figures related to settlements: "In the last financial year of 2022/23 the Commission concluded 24 enforcement cases with operators paying over £60m because of regulatory failures. This compares with just three operators paying out £1.7m because of failures in the 2016/17 financial year.

"We don’t relish these figures and we don’t mete out penalty packages and agree settlements just to mess with operators or make headlines. Neither do we do so for every minor wrinkle we see in operators' practices.

"To be clear, we do it because the breaches and failings that we find have demanded it. These cases weren’t minor failings or debatable. They were serious. Each of the failings that led to these enforcement cases were failings of real people and failings that often led to the suffering of real harms as well."

Gardner rounded off her speech on a positive note and looking optimistically towards the future: "It’s been said before, but for gambling in Great Britain, the next few years represent a real opportunity for all parties to make a decisive difference towards gambling in Great Britain being safer, fairer and crime-free."



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