British-facing gambling businesses will be charged 55 percent in licence fees from October, after the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport approved the regulator’s proposals.
The controversial hike comes at an awkward juncture for the Gambling Commission, who’s outgoing chief executive, Neil McArthur, played down industry concerns that a dramatic tightening of regulation would likely encourage play in the black market.
However, the primary reason for introducing the change, stated by the GC itself, is to give it more powers of enforcement against illegal bookmakers.
Having been criticised by working groups for not being able to keep up with the pace of change in the sector, the GC also conceded that more money was needed to tackle large scale corporations with advanced technologies.
Meanwhile, new licence applications will face and 60 percent lift in licence fees, and further steps will be taken to simplify the fees system such as a removal of the annual fee discount for combined land-based and online licences.
The changes to licence fees will be implemented by secondary legislation, and the first of which – the increase to annual fees for remote operating licences, increases to all licence application and variation fees, and the removal of annual fee discounts for combined and multiple licences – will come into effect from October this year. While increases to annual fees for nonremote licences will begin from April 2022.