The Gambling Commission (the “Commission”) is conducting a consultation on a proposal to remove the notification requirement in the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (the “LCCP”) relating to the relocation of or additions to remote gambling key equipment. The consultation, which began in January, is due to close this month, on 26 March 2020.

Remote Gambling Equipment

Equipment is classed as remote gambling equipment if it is used in the “provision of facilities for gambling” and the components deployed on it perform certain functions, including the storing of information in relation to a person’s participation in gambling determinations and information relating to a gambling result. Remote gambling equipment is also known as "key equipment".

The Commission's Proposal

Licence Condition 2.1.1 of the LCCP currently requires a licensee to apply for a variation of its licence whenever it wants to add to or relocate key equipment to a different jurisdiction. In its consultation, the Commission is proposing to remove this requirement. In addition, the consultation will also consider whether changes to key equipment should continue to constitute a key event under Licence Condition 15.2.1.

In its overview of the consultation, the Commission explains that “as data storage moves towards cloud-based facilities, the physical key equipment access provisions are becoming redundant.” Therefore, provided the Commission is able to access data held on key equipment for regulatory purposes, there remains no further need to routinely physically inspect key equipment or for the Commission to know how many pieces of key equipment a licensee has.

If the proposed changes go ahead, the Commission will still have the power under Licence Condition 2.1.2 to access key equipment and/or request copies of the data held on such equipment.

The Commission states that these changes to the LCCP would result in increased efficiency and a reduction in the regulatory burden on licensees, as operators would no longer need to apply for a licence variation each time they add to or relocate their key equipment, and neither would they need to notify the Commission about such changes.

Consultation Participation

The Commission has invited operators and key stakeholders in the gambling industry to provide their comments on: (i) whether they agree with the proposal to remove Licence Condition 2.1.1; and (ii) whether changes made to key equipment should continue to constitute a key event.

Those that would like to participate in the consultation can do so here. Any changes to the LCCP arising from this consultation would take effect in July 2020.

Article co-authored by Fatima Butt.