The UK Gambling Act white paper will likely take a number of years to fully implement, according to Gambling Commission deputy chief executive Sarah Gardner.
For the gambling regulator to make sure it gets the consulting process right, its approach will be “less haste and more speed”, according to Gardner’s speech at the Lotteries Council Annual Conference on May 18, 2023.
“That doesn’t mean we can’t make rapid progress in a number of key areas. But it does mean we — and government — need to prioritise our work,” she said.
The Gambling Commission intends for the first set of white paper-related consultations to be published this summer and pre-consultation engagement with stakeholders has already begun in a number of other policy areas.
“Whilst I’m not in a position to tell you what those will be yet, we will be publishing more information on this in the near future,” Gardner said.
The regulator called for a “wide variety of experiences and expertise to inform the way that those commitments are turned into practical reality”.
“In my own career in public service both in government and regulation, I have seen too many examples of well-meaning policy changes having unintended consequences for the public due to the way they were implemented in the real world. So take it from me that we will be doing everything we can to avoid making that mistake during implementation,” Gardner said.
In total, there are 17 significant policy changes that have been addressed in terms of “next steps” in the policy paper.
Five of them require UK Gambling Commission-led consultations and, subject to trial outcomes, there could also be a consultation on making data sharing between online operators on high-risk customers mandatory for collaborative harm prevention, otherwise known as the "single customer view".
During the speech, charity lotteries were also praised for playing “an enormously important role” in communities.
In the year to March 2022, large society lotteries raised £417m for good causes, according to the commission.