The international law firm CMS has just held its 2022 CMS Gambling Conference in London. The event was considered to be “an excellent opportunity to hear from industry leaders at a pivotal moment and on an array of topics” prior to the upcoming release of the DCMS’ white paper on the Gambling Act Review.
The Conference saw several high-profile members of the UK gambling industry share their views with attendees. They included members of KPMG, Playtech, Liverpool University, Rank Group, Betfred, the Betting and Gaming Council, 888, Flutter, Bally Corporation, and the Executive Director of Research and Policy at the UK Gambling Commission.
What did the Gambling Commission have to say?
Tim Miller of the Gambling Commission provided both the keynote speech and input into an agenda item on the Gambling Act review at the CMS Gambling Conference on 6th July. He later shared his speech on the Gambling Commission’s website, and it provides several interesting insights as to the Commission’s current concerns, plans, and observations on the UK gambling industry.
Tim says that the lifting of restrictions has helped land-based gambling to begin a “slow by steady recovery”. However, online gambling is showing “signs of slowdown” as players are getting back to enjoying their lives away from home. He adds that the increasingly competitive and expanding global market is causing a surge in acquisitions and mergers. For example, we’ve recently seen Flutter buy Tombola and 888 purchase William Hill.
A new trend which is being called “gamblification” is also changing the way that Britons gamble as brands look to “move towards more entertainment-focused business models”.
Tim also points to the rise in non-gambling brands that are keen on entering the gambling market. However, this brings with it concerns over how NFTs, skins betting, and lootboxes will be covered by gambling regulations and legislation.
The UKGC executive mentioned that the Commission will be shortly announcing some new consultations that will invite stakeholders to give their views on customer interaction and affordability, financial penalties, and regulatory obligations. He also says that after receiving criticism regarding the consultation process in the past, the Commission will be taking a new approach that will see it change how it carries out consultations and seeks stakeholder views.