News DCMS launch consultation on gambling regulation funding

Proposals for changes to Gambling Commission fees from 1 October 2021

“The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a consultation on the funding of the Gambling Commission.  The consultation is separate to the Gambling Review and looks at an increase to the Gambling Commission fees. It will run until 25 March 2021. 

Proposed changes from 1st October 2021 include a 60% increase to all licence application fees for all operator applications across both the remote and non - remote sectors. The consultation states that this is to ensure that the Gambling Commission covers its costs regarding the increased complexity of applications being received and the additional checks that are having to be made. It is also proposed that there will be an increase in the annual fees for remote licences by 1st October 2021. Each fee band for remote operating licences (other than lottery and gaming machine technical licences) and gambling software licences would see an annual fee increase of 55%.

There will also be an annual fee increase for non – remote operators, but this is not proposed to take effect until April 2022 in recognition of the challenges that the land based sector has faced during the Covid-19 pandemic. Under the proposals, each fee band for non-remote licences (other than gambling software) would see a 15% annual fee increase. 

There are also plans to strip back the fee system to make it simpler, including the removal of discounts for combined and multiple licences. Reasons cited for this change are to reflect the regulatory costs and that “...it would also reduce the costs associated with managing the discount process and allow the Commission to build in more automation.”

Further into the consultation are proposals to increase the fee for licences that rely on random number generator software, and to add an additional fee category for society lottery licences.

The following three key challenges are highlighted within the consultation as expected areas of significant focus for the Gambling Commission in the coming years:

  • Increased technological developments including product and payment innovation.
  • Changes in the size and shape of the market partially caused by consolidation, meaning the operators it regulates are increasingly global operators.
  • Increasing risks associated with unlicensed operators and the need to protect consumers and the industry from ‘black market’ encroachment.

The consultation includes a breakdown of the Gambling Commissions costs as well as information on the efficiency savings with a forecast that the Gambling Commissions costs will continue to increase, rising to a figure of approximately £23m by the year 2023-24.

Full details of the consultation can be found here. "

For further information on this or any other gaming licensing issue, contact solicitor Imogen Moss.