Andrew Rhodes, the Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), recently addressed the GambleAware Conference, highlighting the significant strides made by the regulator in enhancing industry compliance and standards. Since his appointment in June 2021, Rhodes has overseen a transformation in the gambling industry’s commitment to meeting UKGC standards, reducing extreme compliance failings.
UKGC’s Uncompromising Approach to Compliance
Under Rhodes’ leadership, the UKGC has adopted an uncompromising stance on compliance and enforcement. This approach has successfully achieved the regulator’s initial phase objectives, shifting the industry’s focus from basic compliance to more challenging issues. Rhodes emphasized the importance of moving beyond enforcing minimum standards to addressing more complex challenges in the industry.The UKGC’s collaboration with GambleAware and other stakeholders is pivotal in achieving its White Paper objectives and making UK gambling the safest in the world. Rhodes underscored the importance of stakeholder collaboration in advancing projects like GamProtect, a data-sharing initiative that provides quick intervention for those at risk of gambling harm while ensuring data protection.GamProtect, developed in collaboration with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), is already benefiting those most at risk of gambling-related harm. Developed with GamStop, the scheme ensures personal data protection while facilitating a multi-operator approach.
UKGC’s Focus on Data Collection and Research
The UKGC is committed to improving evidence on the prevalence and impacts of gambling in Great Britain. This commitment is evident in the regulator’s efforts to gather input from diverse stakeholders for its “Gambling Survey for Great Britain.” The survey, running for three years, aims to collect detailed data on gambling behaviours, surpassing existing Health Surveys and Quarterly Telephone Surveys.
Upcoming Conference and Methodological Review
In 2024, GambleAware stakeholders will be updated on the Commission’s methodological review of the Survey and data collection. Professor Patrick Sturgis of the London School of Economics (LSE) will present findings to address evidence gaps in key gambling segments.
A New Chapter for UK Gambling
Rhodes concluded his address by emphasising the collective efforts to make gambling safer, fairer, and crime-free. He expressed optimism about the future, stating that the next few years represent a golden opportunity to turn a new chapter in making gambling safer.The UKGC’s progress under Andrew Rhodes’ leadership marks a significant shift in the regulatory landscape, focusing on collaboration, data-driven approaches, and a commitment to making UK gambling the safest in the world.