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UK Gambling Operators May Face Increased Fees

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is considering increasing remote license fees by 55% in order to provide it with the funding it requires to regulate the growing industry and tackle the unlicensed market.

UKGC will increase the application fees by October

The Commission thinks that it needs £2.5 million to address all the changes by 2023/24. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has begun an open consultation about the proposed increase.

The aim is to implement the increased annual fees and application fees by October of this year. However, existing non-remote operators will not see their fees increase until April 2022 to give them a chance to recover from the financial losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

In the consultation document, three major challenges in regulation are highlighted that the Commission believes need to be addressed in the near future. These include increased technological developments, such as payment innovation, the increasing number of global operators, and the flourishing black market.

To address the first challenge, the DCMS would like to increase the number of specialist technical employees at the UKGC and invest in tools to improve compliance. It is thought that these changes will cost £1.2 million when fully implemented in 2023/24.

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It is predicted that it will cost £1 million to address the challenges posed by the rising number of global operators, which would include improving the international regulatory agenda, increasing legal capacity, and analyzing complex corporate structures.

To combat the number of unlicensed operators, the DCMS has suggested hiring more people to research the black market and combat it, for instance, by prosecuting illegal operators. This is expected to cost around £300,000.

A recent report from PWC found that around 200,000 gamblers spent £1.4 billion on unlicensed sites between 2018 and 2019. However, the UKGC has said that these figures are an exaggeration.

The proposal would see remote operators offering Random Number Generator games pay £2,500 or £5,000 more. The non-remote sector would face a 15% renewal fee increase.

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RELATED TOPICS: Regulation

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