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UK Gambling Commission unveils tough new enforcement regime

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UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has today unveiled a new enforcement strategy aiming to crackdown on gambling operators who breach regulations.

It follows the conclusion of a three-month consultation between the UKGC and firms operating throughout the gambling industry entitled "Changes to our enforcement strategy: putting the consumer first", which has reviewed the effectiveness of existing UKGC enforcement measures.

Among the changes are higher penalties for regulatory breaches, focussing on those operators who systemically and repeatedly breach regulations and measures to include the option of licence review/withdrawal among current enforcement breach settlement methods.

In a statement announcing the implementation of the new strategy, Sarah Harrison, Commission Chief Executive, said: “We will use the full range of enforcement powers to ensure operators put customers first and raise standards.

"The industry can be assured that we will use our powers in a targeted way, and consumers and the public can be assured we will take robust and effective action when gambling companies don’t meet their obligations.”

The UKGC is keen to place a greater emphasis on the protection of consumers whilst also ensuring that both it and UK operators recognise and respond to changing circumstances in a way which remains consistent with UKGC licensing objectives.

Harrison added: “This enforcement policy will set tougher sanctions for operators who repeatedly or systemically fail their customers.

“We want to work with operators who want to raise standards; we will take tough action against those who fail customers. Operators who persistently fail customers will face a hostile response from the regulator.”

Brian Chappell, founder of the campaign group Justice4Punters, told AOL online: "We are delighted by this announcement. It confirms the discussions in our meetings with the Gambling Commission that they are committed to improving customer service for gamblers.

"Gamblers really struggle to get any justice at all from companies and any regulatory changes that help with this situation are very welcome."

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