his has involved: Developing the Commission’s risk-based approach to priority setting, concentrating on issues and operators with regional and national impact and building up its and the industry’s knowledge base in the practical implications of the Gambling Act 2005.
It also involves working with local authorities and the police, clarifying roles and minimising duplication, testing the degree of compliance, for example through test purchasing, improving the information available to operators and consumers, working with the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, the Responsible Gambling Fund and others to implement a more strategic and effective approach to research, education and treatment of problem gamblers.
The Commission also worked closely with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport on two major policy initiatives - remote gambling regulation and the Parry review of sports betting integrity. From the latter, the Commission has implemented one of the main recommendations of the Parry report in setting up a Sports Betting Intelligence Unit.
”Like the industry, we have not escaped the impact of the recession,” said Brian Pomeroy, the Commission’s Chairman. “Consolidation, contraction and closures within the industry, as well as some operators moving offshore have reduced our expected fee income. With no fee increase this year, we have cut staff and expenditure accordingly - by £1.3 million against the previous year.
“The next 12 months will be even more challenging with pressure to become more effective. For example, to combat sports betting corruption and other types of illegal gambling while reducing the overall cost of regulation, and working with the National Lottery Commission on the proposed merger.”
The Commission is an independent body funded in the main by licence fees paid by the gambling industry but set by the Secretary of State and approved by Parliament. All of its regulatory activity is funded by licence fee income. The Commission’s 2009/10 annual report and accounts can be downloaded from its website.