Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
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Government increases licence fees for gambling operators

The Government yesterday published its response to a consultation on proposals to increase the fees payable by gambling operators to the Gambling Commission.

  • Government publishes consultation response on increases to Gambling Commission fees
  • Increase see a 55 per cent uplift in fees for online operators
  • New fees will deliver additional resource for Gambling Commission to address industry concerns

The increased fees announced yesterday, which were last revised in 2017, will help the Gambling Commission respond to new risks and technological developments, as well as the increasing cost of its existing regulation.

The revised fee structure will also help it to address areas for improvement identified by the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, such as improving its use of data and intelligence, and ensure effective regulation of the gambling industry.

The changes include a 55 per cent increase in the fee bands for annual operating licences for online operators, which will take effect on 1 October 2021. Fee bands for land-based operators will increase by 15 per cent, with these increases coming into effect on 6 April 2022 in recognition of the impact that COVID-19 closures have had on these businesses.

The uplift in fees will provide the Gambling Commission with greater resources to tackle new challenges such as product and payment innovation. This new structure will mean that the Gambling Commission is better equipped to deal with the changing landscape of the gambling industry which has become increasingly global in nature. The regulator will also be better placed to address the risks associated with unlicensed operators and the need to protect consumers and the industry from ‘black market’ encroachment.

In addition to the rises to fee bands for annual operating licences, all application fees will increase by 60 per cent and discounts for being licensed for multiple activities will be removed.

The ongoing Review of the Gambling Act 2005 is looking at the Commission’s powers and resources to ensure the regulatory framework around gambling is fit for the digital age.

Notes to Editors:

  • The consultation ran from 29 January to 26 March 2021 and received responses from a cross-section of the gambling industry, as well as academic and clinician researchers and the House of Lords group Peers for Gambling Reform.
  • A statutory instrument will be laid to bring these changes into effect.
  • The Gambling Act Review call for evidence closed in March and responses are currently being carefully considered. A White Paper setting out findings will be published by the end of the year. The Review will also consider the future flexibility of the Gambling Commission’s fees.


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