Despite delivering a “refreshingly grown-up assessment of the state of the industry and of regulation”, Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission CEO, “has his work cut out” to fix the regulator’s systemic issues, according Regulus Partners.
In the consultancy firm’s latest blog, Rhodes was complimented for having “common sense” in recognising that while individual licensees can fall foul of regulations, the industry as a whole is serving a legitimate purpose and has legitimate interests. However, not a day later, the Commission’s Compliance and Enforcement report revealed the extent to which the regulator is still, at its core, working against the industry rather than with it – and this comes at the expense of useful data and a more rounded perspective.
“The report is woefully short on context and meaning,” wrote Regulus. “The fact that the Commission revoked ten Personal Licences is all very interesting but requires more information to achieve salience – how many personal licences are currently held?; why were the licences revoked and have the reasons for revocation changed by comparison with prior years?”
The lack of data also suggests that the Gambling Commission has not taken on board the recommendations of the National Audit Office and the Public Accounts Committee, both of whom have been publicly critical of the regulator in recent years.
“Given pronouncements on the importance of data from both Andrew Rhodes and his minister, Chris Philp, the regulator’s laxity in this area could be seen as hypocritical,” concluded Regulus. “With the Commission under new management, it seems unlikely to be tolerated very much longer.”