Insights Quarterly regulatory returns for all

Back in September 2023, the Great Britain Gambling Commission (“Commission”) wrote to a host of operators in an attempt to understand how they had been reporting data on their regulatory returns. In the words of the Commission, the purpose of these emails was a “drive to improve the regulatory data received on regulatory returns rather than identifying problems”.

Following receipt of these responses, the Commission ran a consultation between November 2023 and February 2024 as part of a whole scale review to determine how regulatory returns are to be conducted going forward. The consultation largely focussed on the proposal to change the frequency by which all licensees submit regulatory returns, as required by Licence Condition 15.3.1 of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (“LC 15.3.1”).

The purpose of a regulatory return is to provide the Commission with key data relating to its licensees. This, in turn, has a material impact on the Commission’s ability to budget and provide a timelier, deeper and more accurate picture of the gambling sector. As such, the Commission has proposed to change LC 15.3.1 to:

15.3.1 – General and regulatory returns

  1. On request, licensees must provide the Gambling Commission with such information as the Commission may require, in such a form or manner as the Commission may from time-to-time specify, about the use made of facilities provided in accordance with this licence and the manner in which gambling authorised by this licence and the licensee’s business in relation to that gambling are carried on.

  2. In particular within 28 days of the end of each quarterly period licensees must submit an accurate Regulatory Return to the Commission containing such information as the Commission may from time to time specify.

Prior to the consultation, licensees were required to either submit a regulatory return annually or quarterly (depending on the licence held), and the reporting period ran from the time that their licence was issued. This meant that the Commission received data at different times making it difficult to have an accurate picture of the sector, at large.

As such, rather than having to submit returns at different times throughout the year, all submissions will now be aligned to the same reporting period which is hoped will make the process more efficient for operators completing regulatory returns and for the Commission.

From 1 July 2024, all licensees will now be required to submit their regulatory return within 28 days of the end of the quarter. This means that the first set of quarterly regulatory returns (relating to the quarterly return period 1 July 2024 to 30 September 2024) must be submitted by all licensees by 28 October 2024. Further detail about the transition to quarterly returns (including an updated regulatory return guidance) and the harmonisation of reporting periods will be set out in communications to all licensees during the period April to June 2024 and we advise all licensees to look out for this communication which will hopefully provide clear guidance on what is expected going forward.

The Commission’s consultation response can be found here.