Created in 1968, the Gaming Board is a non-departmental Government body funded by the Home Office.
It has four main functions: to ensure those involved in organising gaming and lotteries are fit to do so; to keep criminals out of gaming; to ensure gaming is run fairly and in accordance with the law; and to advise the Home Secretary on developments in gaming so the law can respond to change.
Chaired by the former Independent Broadcasting Authority director-general Lady Shirley Littler, the Board seems woefully ill-equipped. The board has four members: Bryan Austin, once of Dorland Advertising and United Biscuits; the former chief constable of Devon and Cornwall police Don Elliott; corporate financier William Kirkpatrick, who is also a member of the National Lottery Charities Board; and magistrate Lady Carolyn Trethowan. They each receive an annual salary of 13,625 for a two-day week.
But with an annual budget of 3m it is regulating what is now an estimated 14bn gambling industry, which has mushroomed since the launch of the National Lottery.
There have been recent calls for it to be reformed.