UKGC’s Tim Miller Speaks on the White Paper Proposals

Tim Miller, the executive director of the UK Gambling Commission, has voiced his opinion on the white paper proposals by the government. He stated that the 260-page document is very detailed and the sections where the details are lacking had several proposals, all of which are good enough to be taken into consideration. 

The White Paper is Part of the Gambling Act Review

It has already been a year since the review of the Gambling Act began and Miller stated that the success of the process lies in creating and maintaining a good relationship between the government and the UKGC. 

He noted that the Commission still has a lot of work to do, but the industry must also be “prepared to keep its nose to the grindstone” if the white paper is to be delivered successfully. According to him, there are still a lot of things that need to be done and the Commission is trying to make the whole process smooth. 

One of the biggest controversies regarding the white paper consultation is affordability checks (financial risk checks). Critics stated that these checks could alienate gamblers and bettors because operators will ask them for more details about themselves. Some players wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing that much about themselves. 

However, Miller stated that the Commission is happy with the engagement so far. In regards to whether the proposals will see the light of the day, Miller said that the commission will get more information in the coming weeks. The information will help it understand “what works well and what doesn’t.”

But What About Cracking Down on The Illegal Gambling Market?

Research showed that the number of illegal operators in the UK has increased by 8 times between 2021 and 2023. Miller shared a few words on how the Commission would combat this arising issue. He stated that the white paper states that the regulator would gain additional powers to be able to shut down illicit online operators. 

There are three main aspects in dealing with the issue, in the words of Miller. The first one is using the current approach. The second one is the additional powers included in the white paper. The third one is striving for the bigger picture. 

Miller stated that the Commission is working on bringing regulators from Europe and North America closer to each other. The focus is the black market. Apart from that, the UKGC has been working with global tech companies such as Google to reduce the visibility of illegal websites. 

In Europe specifically, Miller said that the relationship between the regulators is positive and all of them are working to end the black market threat. 

As a final note, Miller stated that the white paper will be the channel for changes in 2024. He urged all participants in the gambling industry not to get distracted by it, even though it is “a huge piece of work.” No operator should lose sight of the current regulatory requirements and if they do, they open the risk of being fined, Miller ended. 

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