Some 36 responses to the consultation were received from stakeholders, including trade associations, licensed gambling operators and members of the public.
Three main options were provided for consultation but the changes preferred by the commission were:
- A 10% reduction in total annual fee income to reflect the efficiencies achieved in the commission’s operating costs, resulting in fee reductions for around 1,900 operators and current levels maintained for around 1,000 operators.
- Fee increases for fewer than 100 operators to ensure the commission’s costs are recovered on a more proportionate basis in line with the volume of gambling conducted with those operators.
- The retention of a fee category structure but with the categories being based on gross gambling yield rather than premises numbers for betting, bingo and arcade operators.
- The sub-division of several fee categories into smaller bands to ensure that regulatory costs are spread more fairly among businesses.
Subject to negative resolution
Following the consultation, the draft Gambling (Operating Licence and Single-Machine Permit Fees) (Consolidation) Regulations 2017 will be submitted to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport.
The regulations will be subject to the negative resolution procedure in parliament and would come into force on 6 April 2017.
Greene King's attempts for an operating licence
Over the past couple of years, The Morning Advertiser has reported on Greene King’s attempts to get an operating licence from the Gambling Commission to allow it to provide commercial bingo in its pubs.
The latest decision in the litigation is that the commission succeeded in its appeal to the Upper Tier Tribunal.