The UK government has approved the increase of licence fees issued by the Gambling Commission. The increased licensing costs are to take effect from 1 October, with the most significant change being the 60% cost increase for license applications.
The DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) has given the go-ahead for increased ongoing license fees issued to suppliers and gaming operators licensed in the UK.
Analysis by the DCMS found that more revenue is needed for the UK Gambling Commission to cover the cost of increased expenses imposed by new challenges. The regulatory body needs to make up for the growing scope of multiple gambling companies, deal with unlicensed operators, and keep up with increased technological development.
Yearly remote operating licences are to increase by 55% from October 2021.
The initiative will also remove the discount usually applied for combined online and physical licences. However, considering that many businesses are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the DMCS has delayed the 15% increase for non-remote operating licenses until April 2022.
In addition to these changes, the Single Machine Permit fee will rise from £25 to £40.
“The Commission’s investment strategy will enable it to proceed with the highest priority investments. For example, in meeting the challenges posed by technological innovation, the Commission needs to invest in expertise to obtain, store and analyse data, including improving its collection of participation and prevalence data,” the DMCS said.
The DMCS has received complaints about the timing of this increase, since the UK government is set to revise the 2005 Gambling Act.
The Gambling Commission’s licensing fees haven’t changed since 2009.
The DMCS noted that the Gambling Commission’s operating expenses have risen, so this fee increase was long overdue.
“We welcome this DCMS consultation response as it ensures much-needed changes to our fee income that will enable us to continue to regulate effectively,” the Gambling Commission said.
The increase in licensing expenses for gambling venues will have a positive impact on the Gambling Commission. This means that licensed venues – from betting websites to online poker lounges – will have to adhere to even higher standards to protect users.