he Commission's Compliance and Enforcement team will be targeting illegal operators across the country in a renewed drive to rid the industry of the illegal trade.
Operators who supply or provide gaming machines for use must have a license from the Gambling Commission, in line with the 2005 Act. Licensed operators conform to strict technical and social responsibility requirements in order to keep gambling safe and fair.
Operators who fail to obtain a license risk closure and prosecution. Suppliers who are licensed by the Commission but supply machines to sites not holding the appropriate permissions also risk having their license reviewed.
The Gambling Commission's Director of Operations Nick Tofiluk said: “It's in everyone's interest to put a stop to the illegal supply of gaming machines. Too many machines are being supplied illegally to benefit criminals at a cost to both society at large and the legitimate gambling industry. The licensed industry can help us by ensuring machines are supplied by licensed operators and by adding to our growing intelligence in this area.”
Over the past year a number of specific investigations of suspected illegal machine supply have been pursued. The Commission has already given notification to a number of suspected illegal suppliers who must act now to avoid prosecution.
Their premises will receive follow-up visits from Commission officials alongside local authority and HMRC representatives in the next month. In the following months, prosecutions and seizures of machines will begin in cases where the Commission has continued concerns about an individual operator.
The Commission is calling on licensed operators to throw their weight behind the move by passing on any further intelligence they may have about illegal machine supply. A register of machine suppliers licensed by the Commission, is updated daily and published on the Gambling Commission's website.