Debbie Bollard, a gambling compliance and law expert, is the owner of Hough & Bollard - a niche consultancy specialising in gambling licensing for land-based Operators in the Gambling Industry. With over ten years’ experience in the gambling licences industry, including as a gambling law solicitor in the UK, Debbie has been acting for Operators with premises as well as companies manufacturing and supplying gaming machines since the changes to the UK gambling laws.
What is regulatory compliance in the gambling industry?
The Gambling Act 2005 governs gaming and betting in Great Britain and contains three licensing objectives that businesses operating within the industry have a duty to uphold:-
- Preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime;
- Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way;
- Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.
The Gambling Commission is the gambling industry regulator, and responsible for licensing the people and businesses in Great Britain. The Commission is also responsible for updating and amending the Licensing Codes and Conditions of Practice (LCCPs) that set out how a licensed business or person must operate. The LCCPs support the licensing objectives and must be complied with. Where licensed Operators fail to comply with the LCCPs, the Commission will take regulatory action; investigating the circumstances and making sanctions that can affect an Operator’s business including revocation of an Operating Licence.
It is therefore essential that all licensed Operators ensure that they and their business maintain regulatory compliance at all times. Gambling compliance audits and gambling compliance training will help to ensure that your company does not put its Operating Licence and future at risk.
Gambling Compliance Training and Audits
With years of experience in the industry, Hough & Bollard is in a key position to help you to make sure your business remains compliant over the years.
Gambling Compliance Audits – The Gambling Commission’s compliance officers carry out routine inspections of licensed land-based sites. Any breaches of the LCCPs may result in your Operating Licence being reviewed and possibly revoked. We can arrange to visit your premises to advise whether there are any areas of concern and review your policies and procedures, so they are up to date and fit for purpose.
Gambling Compliance Training - We offer onsite compliance training for business owners and staff to ensure that businesses maintain the regulatory standards. Training includes information about problem gambling, identifying issues and customer interaction; age verification and self-exclusion, linking back to the LCCPs.
Policies and Procedures to submit to the Gambling Commission
Hough & Bollard will work with your business to develop a set of policies and procedures to submit to the Gambling Commission with your application for an Operating Licence or a variation. We can also review and advise you on what updates are needed to your policies and procedures when the LCCPs change.
Changes in circumstances
We offer help and advice on how and when you need to make changes to your Operating Licence, for example when your gross gambling yield exceeds the authorised limit for the category of Operating Licence. You may want to change the type of gambling you offer or the structure of the business, or the way it is owned may change; failure to notify the Gambling Commission will result in regulatory action.
Hough & Bollard helps your business to prepare and file its annual regulatory returns and notify the Gambling Commission of any key events.
Review of an Operating Licence
If you are notified that the Gambling Commission intends to review your Operating Licence you should seek advice immediately. Hough & Bollard will take you through the procedure and advise you on the best way to deal with the matter. We can even accompany you to a Review Panel Hearing at the Gambling Commission to provide advice on the day.
Why work with Hough & Bollard?
Hough & Bollard works with a variety of clients including start-ups, SMEs and family businesses that have operated in the industry for several generations. A testament to the businesses gambling law expertise, many clients are recommended from existing clients. Hough & Bollard is equipped with the specialist knowledge and expertise in the gambling industry to provide compliance audits and gambling compliance training to land-based businesses across the UK.
Working in conjunction with the Gambling Commission and Local Authorities to ensure successful outcomes
Hough & Bollard routinely acts on behalf of clients in applications to the Gambling Commission and local authorities to secure a successful outcome. A member of the Industry Lawyers Forum, which meets at the Gambling Commission several times a year, enables the company to keep up to speed on developments and potential changes affecting the gambling industry.