The House of Lords is forming a select committee to question members of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The goal of the committee is to understand the “social and economic impact” of gambling on the country.
The panel will commence at 3:15 pm on February 11, with two high-ranking members of UKGC set to appear. UKCG's Chief Executive Neil McArthur and Chairman Dr. Bill Moyes. Both will speak and give their views and insights about how their organisation regulates and governs the vast gambling industry in the UK.
The investigation, led by Lord Michael Garde of Yarmouth, is targeting the industry to attain “reliable” facts to create an enhanced framework and regulations that protect problem gamblers.
One of the committee's biggest concerns is the regulatory body's direct relationship with gambling executives. A relationship which has raised plenty of concern amongst MPs who worried about the potential conflict of interest.
Allowing gambling operators to spear-head regulatory issues such as managing the code of conduct for membership rewards, has caused groups such as the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) to be vocal in their criticism of the apparent “conflict of interest”. In their view, operators in the gambling industry are governing themselves.
Also on the agenda will be tough questions about how the commission plans to stay up to date with new trends in technology, customer habits and the ever-growing list of new products entering the market. It's no secret that gambling operators regularly use smart marketing campaigns and reward programs to keep customers active on their sites.
The committee has publicly stated that they view active collaboration between the regulatory authorities and the industry to be beneficial, and they aim to ensure that gambling consumers are protected at all times. Including that problem gamblers won't be targeted.
At the beginning of February, five of the largest UK betting operators sat down to give their testimonies to the House of Lords committee.