Gambling regulators – Who is best?

An article by David Clifton entitled “Gambling regulators – Who is best?” has been published today by U.S. based CDC Gaming Reports as part of its regular Tottenham Report feature. You can download it below.

It is a wide-ranging article that includes:

  • David’s views on relative player protection measures in place in the UK on the one hand and the U.S. on the other, featuring comment arising from David’s speaking engagements (and those of Suzanne Davies too) at April’s SBC Events’ Betting on Sports America conference and the KnowNow Player Protection Forum in May,
  • his question how the UK’s Gambling Commission would currently measure its performance against the Hampton Report’s recommendation (embodied within the Commission’s Statement of Principles for Licensing and Regulation) that “regulators should recognise that a key element of their activity will be to allow, or even encourage, economic progress and only to intervene when there is a clear case for protection”,
  • reference to issues arising from others’ comments that, since the decision of the Commission not to attend the annual ICE event in February this year, it has also been notable by its absence from a variety of other industry-sponsored events and
  • David’s hope that, with a view to achieving a better balance between the “stick” and the “carrot” in terms of its regulatory approach, the Commission will find the available resources to enable its active re-involvement with the gambling industry’s own events.

In the article’s concluding paragraph, David says:

…. despite the title of this article, I do not for one moment advocate a competition to determine which gambling regulator is better than the rest or indeed that anyone should assert that one is better than another. Far more important is that gambling regulators work together and in close collaboration with their respective licence-holders to ensure that, in an increasingly global gambling environment, consistently high standards of proportionate regulation apply to gambling operators wherever in the world they undertake business.

On an associated point, a White Paper entitled “Regulation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” was published on the gov.uk website on 11 June 2019, setting out the UK Government’s plan to maintain its “world-leading regulatory system in this period of rapid technological change”. It states that it “will support and stimulate new products, services and business models, with greater space for experimentation. We will uphold safeguards for people and the environment and engage the public in how innovation is regulated. And we will maintain the stable, proportionate regulatory approach the UK is rightly known for”. It remains to be seen how (if at all) this White Paper – which you can download below – will have any bearing on the manner in which the Gambling Commission regulates the British gambling industry.