UK Gambling Commission Brings in James Mackay to Reform National Lottery  

James Mackay National Lottery.

James Mackay has been brought in by the UKGC to lead the National Lottery into a new gaming era. (Image: national-lottery.co.uk)

The UK Gambling Commission has drafted in the Rail Delivery Group’s former head honcho James Mackay to spearhead the 2023 lottery licensing race.

Announced on December 4, the appointment will see Mackay become Executive Director and the man in charge of overseeing the National Lottery for the next five years.

With current lottery operator Camelot’s licence set to expire in 2023, other companies will be given the chance to assume control of the UK’s largest lottery.

Mackay to Lead Lottery’s Evolution

In his new role, Mackay will be in charge of the selection process, but will also be working to shape the lottery to keep it in line with modern betting trends. The latest revenue report from the UKGC showed that lottery spending has fallen in recent months.

While online betting improved by 10.1 percent between April 2016 and March 2017, the National Lottery’s share of the industry’s £13.7 billion gross gambling yield (GGY) dropped by 12.8 percent. The £438 million drop in earnings took the lottery’s annual contribution to £2.98 billion, making it the third largest sector in the UK gambling industry.

With more people now choosing to bet online, this will likely be one area that Mackay chooses to focus his efforts on when he assumes his position.

“There is a fantastic opportunity to transform the way the lottery works and ensure it is fit for purpose over the coming decades, whilst at the same time ensuring that players are protected,” Mackay said in the UKGC’s official press release.

Broadway Gaming Fined £100,000

Despite welcoming a new executive, the UKGC hasn’t taken its eye off the regulatory ball. Following a June 2016 ruling by the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA), the UKGC has fined Broadway Gaming Ltd £100,000.

In the wake of a recent fine for Paddy Power, Broadway Gaming Ltd has incurred the wrath of the UKGC for failing to clearly define the terms of a 2016 bonus. Linked Broadway’s Butler’s Bingo, the advert led with the headline: “Deposit £10. Play £35.”

The rest of the advert failed to communicate the “significant conditions” associated with the promotion according to the UKGC. As well as the advert scrutinised by the ASA, the UKGC found similar issues at Broadway’s Bingo Diamond, Casino of Dreams, Dotty Bingo and Rehab Bingo.

For the systematic failings, the regulator handed down a £100,000 fine to the online casino and bingo operator. 

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