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HMRC internal manual

Information Disclosure Guide

Information disclosure Gateways with other government departments: Gambling Commission

Why share information with the Gambling Commission?

The Gambling Commission was established by the Gambling Act 2005 to regulate most commercial gambling in Britain including arcade operators, bookmakers (on and off course), bingo clubs, casinos, gaming machine and gambling software operators, lottery operators and British-based remote gambling operators.

It does not regulate the National Lottery or spread betting. These are regulated by the National Lottery Commission and the Financial Services Authority respectively.

The Gambling Commission took over the role of the Gaming Board for Great Britain and operates as a Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). It operates at arm’s length from government and its advice is independent. Its work is funded mainly by licence fees from the gambling industry.

The Gambling Commission will usually ask HMRC for relevant information to enable it to vet potential gambling license applicants and for advice in relation to other gambling issues.

Ensuring information is shared lawfully

All disclosures of HMRC information must be lawful. Please see IDG40300 for more information on lawful disclosure as provided by the CRCA.

To be lawful, HMRC may only share information with the Gambling Commission through a legal gateway. See IDG40320 for general information about what a legal gateway is. The appropriate legal gateway to use is listed below.

You must also ensure when passing information to the Gambling Commission that you follow the agreed procedure for disclosures. Details are listed below.

Which part of HMRC can disclose this information?

Former C&E teams involved in gambling, gaming, betting and lottery regimes (primarily Excise teams) may disclose information to the Gambling Commission. Other teams within HMRC who hold information that is relevant to the Gambling Commission’s functions may also disclose information to the Gambling Commission, though this is likely to be the exception rather than the norm.

The purpose for which information may be disclosed

Information may be disclosed to assist the Gambling Commission in carrying out its functions. Its functions are set out in the Gambling Act 2005 and includes the determination of licence conditions and Codes of Practice which set out the rules which licensed operators must observe; provision of practical guidance to local authorities and other stakeholders on gambling; issuing and revocation of licenses for commercial gambling; and law enforcement purposes including criminal proceedings against those who breach licensing conditions and taking action to tackle illegal gambling and cheating.

Information which can be disclosed

All information which is necessary, relevant and proportionate to the Gambling Commission’s functions as set out above.

Procedure to follow

Requests to HMRC teams are likely to be made on a case-by-case basis, for the purposes of vetting gambling license applicants. In responding you should ensure the reason for the request and other surrounding circumstances are appropriately documented, see IDG40210. If in doubt, refer to your manager.

Legislation which allows disclosure

  • Section 30 and Schedule 6 Part 1 of the Gambling Act 2005.

Devolved administrations

This guidance applies to the whole of the United Kingdom.

Further guidance

If you receive a request for information from the Gambling Commission and are unsure whether to make a disclosure of HMRC information seek further guidance from your Data Guardian.