On November 8, the CEO of the UK Gambling Commission, Andrew Rhodes, delivered a speech at the CEO Briefing discussing the state of gambling in the UK. In his speech, Rhodes highlighted the upcoming changes in the UK gambling sector following the publication of the Gambling Act white paper. He emphasized the commission’s neutral stance and its desire to work with the industry rather than against it.
Rhodes acknowledged the challenges faced by the regulator in engaging in meaningful debates due to the misinterpretation of statistics and misinformation. He expressed his commitment to leading productive conversations with the industry and encouraged a more grown-up relationship with gambling operators, leading to transparency and collaboration.
The CEO mentioned the decrease in cases of extreme harm and noted the industry’s diversity, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach. He also addressed the exaggerated risk posed by the black market and the changing nature of risk, focusing on the UKGC’s compliance program and its efforts to ensure responsible growth for operators in tiers two and three.
Rhodes discussed the ongoing bitter debate surrounding the Gambling Act Review, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach to maintaining a healthy industry while protecting vulnerable audiences from harm. He addressed the affordability measures and the concerns raised by the horseracing industry, pointing out the need to strike a balance between individual choice and the protection of vulnerable customers.
The CEO highlighted the forthcoming changes in the industry, including the introduction of an Ombudsman and a statutory levy, as well as the importance of maintaining high anti-money laundering (AML) standards. He reiterated the UKGC’s intention to encourage collaboration with other regulators and foster a transparent and supportive relationship with operators.
Rhodes also teased details about the UKGC’s three-year corporate strategy, which will see the commission bolster its efforts to engage with the industry and ensure compliance. He concluded by expressing his commitment to building a collaborative and transparent relationship with the industry, recognizing that there will likely always be some rocky times but emphasizing the importance of ongoing efforts to improve the industry.