The fact that a payment agreed by the Commission can be described, not as a financial penalty, but as a payment in lieu of a financial penalty was explained in Licensing, compliance and enforcement under the Gambling Act 2005: policy statement,256 of June 2017: “Regulatory settlements in the Commission context are not the same as “out of court” settlements in the commercial context suissecasinoenligne.com/bonus/. A regulatory settlement is a regulatory decision, taken by the Commission, the terms of which are accepted by the licensee concerned … It may be particularly important in this respect to provide redress to consumers who may have been disadvantaged by a licensee’s misconduct, or to relieve licensees of the profits or gross gambling yield resulting from their failures.”
While we welcome the fact that the Gambling Commission seems now to be prepared to make more effective use of its powers, the facts of these cases were truly shocking, and we question whether even a settlement of this size is sufficient to bring home to operators the magnitude of their failures. Certainly the sums involved are small compared to those imposed under deferred prosecution agreements (DPAs). A DPA, introduced into English law in 2014 by the Crime and Courts Act 2013, is a way of penalising a company which has committed an economic crime without the expense of a trial and without a criminal conviction as a result. DPAs have to be approved by the Crown Court, and the sums involved are of a different order of magnitude, ranging up to £500 million in the case of Rolls Royce, even after a 50% discount for cooperation with the Serious Fraud Office. Rolls Royce is a company employing some 50,000 people.