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British Gambling Control Commission Spends £14.4 Million

By Joni Hawk, Sep 10th 2007
UK Gambling Regulation

In the fiscal year ending in March 2007. gambling regulation in the U.K. came with a £14.4 million price tag, part of the money being used to pay the organization's 218 employees. The U.K. gambling commission has regulated areas of casino gambling, bingo halls, state lotteries and gaming machines and it's first year of operations in U.K. are detailed in its 2006/2007 annual report released this month.

The past year was spent by the organization on drafting and consulting on policies that will come into effect Sept. 1 with the new U.K. Gambling Control Act.

The British gambling act hasn't been restructured since 1968. While the gambling control commission has been busy with the existing casino gambling regulation, its workload has amplified with the updated version, what with the hiring of new employees and moving offices from London to Birmingham.

The existing Gambling Act was started in 1999 by the commission chairman Peter Dean. He was the one who proposed and supported the governmental idea of creating a timeline for reforming the previous gambling legislation.

Chairman Peter Dean, who will retire at the end of the year, wrote in the July 11 report "It is a motive of great contentment that the Gambling Act 2005 has now been approved and placed on the statute book, with the commission at the centre of the new regulatory system," Mr. Peter Dean congratulated British gambling operators, writing in the report that the businesses have the benefit of a solid reputation for reliability worldwide.

He also added that the ones involved in regulating the new gambling act, although they were bombarded with new proposals for legislation, consultation documents and additional requests in stride and because of the exceptional workload they were at times overwrought, having their patience tested, they showed exceptional professionalism working in a "process that has been invaluable and will lead to better regulation."

Now, we are wondering if the online gambling operators have the same admiration for the online gambling regulation of the Gambling Commission. With the new regulation, online poker rooms and online casinos with gambling licenses outside the European Economic Area will have to apply to the U.K. government to advertise within the country.

Online gambling operators are not the only ones who may be unpleased with the Gambling Act 2005. Bar owners who run small-stakes poker leagues in their businesses are required to charge no more than £3 a day for membership fees. Also, if poker clubs intend to offer the card game, they will need to get a casino gambling license.

By January 1, online operators will need to comply with the new set of codes and practices of the Gambling Commission and then they will need to apply for new gambling licenses.

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