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Deputy CEO: "Gambling Commission will take action against any operator, regardless of scale"

The Bacta Annual Convention has taken place at 1 Birdcage Walk, London, and it featured Gambling Commission Deputy CEO Sarah Gardner delivering a speech to the gambling industry.

She began by mentioning the struggles of land-based operators, especially the smaller ones, as she admitted to being aware many of them were not able to make it through the pandemic.

Another important topic was in regard to a statistic which showed that over 40% of the UK population had gambled in the last four weeks. According to the data she provided, between 2019 and 2020, £450 ($600) was lost every second by people gambling.

Gardner thanked Bacta for its efforts in raising the age limit to 18 for players on Category D cash fruit machines found in arcades and family entertainment centres, and mentioned the Commission’s project with Bacta on a new code for game design on machines.

She also talked about cashless wallet apps Bacta has helped develop.

Before emphasising the Commission’s continued plan to make gambling fairer, safes and crime-free, she summarised some of the work it has done so far:

“In terms of where the Gambling Commission is today, this year has been one of change. But if anyone is thinking this will mean our priorities will change, they are mistaken.

"In fact, the Gambling Commission is coming out of this year more focused than ever before on our remit to make gambling fairer, safer and crime-free.

"We have issued over £100m of penalty packages since 2017/18 and revoked 10 operator licences since then as well. Just one recent example of this was the online operator BGO.

"With almost two million customers in Great Britain before they surrendered their licence; it should be a reminder that the Gambling Commission will take action against any operator, regardless of scale.”

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