The case to hear how Football Index will pay back the £4.5 million they owe to their customers has been moved to the High Court, such is the importance of the findings.
Allowing that bizarre Ponzi scheme to even get off the ground was one of the great failings of the UK Gambling Commission, who may yet face penalties of their own as the government explores whether the regulator is fit for purpose as part of a wider review of the gambling industry.
The Commission has been active in recent months, perhaps to show just how integral they are to the upkeep of standards in the sector, and as well as dishing out a raft of punishments to inadequate operators they have also published the results of their own internal strategic review.
The full document is a rather heavy read and highly recommended to anybody suffering from insomnia, however there are some key takeaway points contained within.
That includes three strategic objectives that the Commission will prioritise in 2021 and beyond, and these could have consequences for how players access casinos and other gaming sites – and should, hopefully, minimise the risk posed by nefarious operators.
The Gambling Commission’s Three Key Objectives
The three strategic objectives of the UK Gambling Commission are:
Protecting Children and the Vulnerable
There is a growing concern that a young audience is accessing betting websites, and the problems that poses are clear and obvious.
If a youngster wants to try and fraudulently use the payment methods of parents or older siblings, there is little that can be done to stop them – apart from, that is, ensuring that operators are verifying the identity of their customers in a robust and efficient manner.
The Commission aims to protect children and the vulnerable by ‘improving standards of conduct and competence by licence holders through licensing, compliance, and enforcement activity.’
They may also be plotting to ‘evolve’ the various licence conditions and codes of practice that regulated firms must abide by, although the report does not go into specifics.
A Fairer Market and More Informed Punters
As reported by the Commission, an alarming stat they have collated shows that ‘public perception that gambling is fair and can be trusted has fallen from 49% in 2008 to 29% in 2020.’
That is a catastrophe for the industry, and so the regulator has unveiled a series of broad aims to right that wrong as emphatically as possible.
Transparency could prove to be the key, and under Commission plans casino gamers will be able to find terms and conditions far more easily – right now, sites can hide their T&Cs linked to pay outs and bonuses behind obscure links.
New technical standards will be introduced too, which will ensure all games are tested more thoroughly before they are released into the market – and that RTP figures are monitored more closely too.
The goal of achieving a more ‘informed’ set of gamers will be tackled by ensuring that licensed operators present game rules and other information in a clearer and more understandable way.
Keeping Crime Out of Gambling
As you would imagine, the UK Gambling Commission is desperate to stamp out illegal gambling and the black market that is, depending on which collated evidence you believe, growing on a yearly basis.
In addition to preventing unlicensed operators from targeting UK based players, the Commission plans to increase their vigilance of licensed brands that are not delivering on the conditions of their licence.
Expect more charges to be brought against firms not doing enough in their anti-money laundering efforts, and be warned that heightened verification on deposits and withdrawals may be required as the Commission looks to prove their worth in the months and years ahead.