The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is stepping up efforts to prevent gambling-related crime with a new set of requirements for operators set to be introduced later this year.

The new rules are being introduced following a consultation by the Commission at the end of 2015, aimed at providing the regulator with greater insight into potential criminal practices involving bookmakers.

As part of the changes UKGC licensees must conduct a money laundering risk assessment across their business to ensure they have effective policies, procedures and measures in place to mitigate these risks.

They must also report any criminal investigations involving them or their premises where it appears measures to keep crime out of gambling have failed.

Regulations must also be introduced to prevent employees from taking advantage of suspicious or irregular betting patterns.

These conditions will be set out in full in an updated version of the UKGC’s Licensing Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), which is to be published this summer. Last year’s review, taken to improve the crime-related provisions in the current LCCP, has been used to formulate the new controls.

“Britain’s gambling industry needs to focus on keeping crime out of gambling and these new requirements will help them do just that,” UKGC director of regulation Nick Tofiluk explained.

“We are urging all operators who supply products to consumers in Britain to read our document on the changes thoroughly and ensure their businesses are ready for when they come into force in the autumn.

“Along with ensuring their products are fair and open and children and vulnerable people are protected, preventing crime associated with gambling should be extremely high on every operator’s agenda,” he said.

“These new requirements encourage licensees to take a proactive and tailored approach to meeting their obligations to achieve meaningful results rather than focusing on processes alone.”

The Commission is now exploring additional controls, with a condition to require licensees to provide information about crimes not covered by the latest changes, such as police call-outs to premises, to be debated later this year. The regulator notes that such information may be useful for social responsibility assessments.

The LCCP updates can be found here.

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