What can I do if the Gambling Commission has notified me that my Personal Management Licence (PML) is being reviewed under s.116(2) Gambling Act 2005?
This is now a frequent occurrence as the Gambling Commission is not just targeting operators for regulatory failings, but also individuals involved in non-compliant gambling businesses. Don’t wait for the Commission to send you its preliminary findings letter; you need to be preparing your case to avoid your PML being revoked.
Why is this happening?
Individuals responsible for specified management functions (e.g. finance, marketing, regulatory compliance, IT) for licensed gambling operators must hold a PML issued by the Gambling Commission. Over the last few years, the Commission has stepped up regulatory action against gambling operators and there have been a number of significant financial penalties imposed. The majority (though not all) of these have related to anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings. Individuals involved in businesses where there were failings are now having their PMLs reviewed to consider the part the individual played in those failings.
Who will represent me and who will pay for it?
This may depend on who your current employer is. You may no longer work for the operator whose licence was reviewed and may see it as unfair that the regulator is still chasing you. It’s possible that your employer or ex-employer’s gambling lawyers will not be able to represent you personally, due to a conflict of interest. You should discuss who is going to pay with your current or previous employer, but as it’s your personal licence, you may have to pay if you need professional advice.
What action can the Gambling Commission take?
The Gambling Commission can take a range of action against PML holders, and past review outcomes can be seen in its Regulatory Sanctions Register.
The Commission can take a range of action against PML holders including issuing advice, issuing a formal warning, imposing a financial penalty, and suspending or revoking the PML.
What are the implications if my PML is revoked?
It will be very difficult to obtain a PML in the future and this could prevent you working in a management capacity for a gambling operator licensed in Great Britain. It could affect your future job prospects and would need to be disclosed to future employers and regulators.
If I no longer need a PML, should I just surrender it?
If you’re no longer working for a GB licensed gambling operator, you may want to avoid the review by surrendering your PML. However, the Commission is still entitled to go on and determine the review, even though your PML has been surrendered. It’s important that you consider the significance of losing your PML for the future. Not only could it impact on your job prospects, but it could prevent you or your employer obtaining a licence with another regulator (e.g. in the US). A decision to surrender a PML, or not to oppose a review, should not be taken without thorough consideration of the implications.