Gambling Commission to push for a more transparent industry

Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission, Sarah Harrison, has pledged that the Commission will push for a more transparent gambling industry to realign the misbalance between consumers and operators.

Sarah Harrison of the UKGC

Harrison will step down from her role at the Commission at the end of this month. © This is Money.

Speaking to guests at the International Casino Exhibition (ICE) in London on Monday, Harrison called for change, stating that the Commission would push to address the current ‘imbalance between businesses and consumer’.

The Commission will enact a three pillared approach to strategy going forward, by focusing on preventing harm, protecting the interests of consumers and optimising returns to good causes from lotteries.

Harrison stated that currently, bettors have insufficient access to data about how and what they play or bet on online. Putting this sort of data into the public realm would be one way in which the Commission will look to tip the scales in the consumer’s favour.

Harrison went on to say that the available data should not be restricted to data about a player. Information should be shared surrounding risks of certain games or products, payout levels from charities for good causes such as lotteries, how consumer funds are treated and the number of complaints.

Harrison hinted at the fact that this data could equate to a sort of ‘Tripadvisor’ style hub, stating:

Brought together this could be the equivalent of a Tripadvisor for consumers helping them differentiate across operators on customer care and welfare features, as well as on price and brand.Sarah Harrison, UK Gambling Commission chief executive

Harrison to step down from role at the Commission

Rounding off her speech, Harrison laid out the Commission’s continued approach to problem gambling. The Commission will in future look to introduce an independent ombudsman scheme for consumers, with a sustainable funding scheme for research, education and treatment of problem gambling.

In truth much more significant investment will be needed to meet treatment needs, to ensure high quality research and to provide proper education about the risks from gamblingSarah Harrison, UK Gambling Commission chief executive

Further regulation appears to be on the horizon for the remote gambling sector, with Harrison hinting that further work with partner regulators and regular use of sanctions will continue.

The speech will be one of the last notable things Harrison does at the Gambling Commission as she prepares to step down in favour of a senior role at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy at the end of the month.

Harrison has been at the Commission since 2015 and has helped the regulator to get a much tighter grip of the industry in that time.

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