UKGC Publishes COVID-19 Guidance for Licensees

  • New guidance suggests staff members should work from home
  • Operators must remain compliant despite issues they may face
  • Fees will not be reduced or waivered due to the set fee structure  
folder with 'Guidelines' label
The UKGC has published new guidance encouraging operators to follow advice published by Public Health England, including allowing staff to work from home. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Response to growing concerns

As concern continues to grow over COVID-19, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published new guidelines for license holders in the gaming industry. The UKGC is following the suggestions of Public Health England and recommends that operators do the same.

UKGC staff members are now working from home until a decision is made otherwise. Operators have been encouraged to take a similar approach to help stop the spread of the deadly virus.

Social distancing recommended

In its guidelines, the UKGC stated that gambling companies must ensure that they have sufficient management, staffing, and oversight in place.

Operators must also must remain compliant with license conditions and codes of practice. The UKGC has stated that operators must review their ability to stay compliant and consider a full or partial suspension of services if they are unable to meet the set requirements.

consider a full or partial suspension of services if they are unable to meet the set requirements

For online gaming operators, the UKGC recognizes that more people are working from home to practice social distancing. iGaming operators are required to continue to act in a responsible manner regarding consumers.

The UKGC said that online operators must continue to focus on individual consumer affordability and increase social responsibility interactions. The regulator went on to point out that they understand the changes to daily life and financial uncertainty. They know that gambling businesses will face challenges.

In a statement, the UKGC said: “The changes will also increase the risks to some individuals, which means that despite the fact that these are challenging times we must all continue to protect consumers.”

Licensing and fee details

Unfortunately for operators, the UKGC has revealed it cannot reduce license fees due to its set fee structure. It will be unable to fast track any application for licensing. When it comes to temporary licensing, all submissions will be taken care of by staff members who are working from home.

Operators must scan any relevant documents needed for the licensing and send them to their designated account manager via email.

The regulator has created steps and processes so that even though team members are working from home, the application process can continue, even if someone becomes sick or unable to work.