SBC News UKGC prioritises data and evidence in new 2024-to-2027 strategy

UKGC prioritises data and evidence in new 2024-to-2027 strategy

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has vowed to provide stakeholders with better evidence to ensure better outcomes for consumers and the public engaging with gambling.

The need for better evidence and enhanced data collection was outlined by the Commission’s launch of its new corporate strategy for 2024-27 tailored to adopt the recommendations set out in the government’s White Paper High Stakes – Gambling reform for the digital age

The Commission maintains its statutory objectives governing UK gambling, in which principal duties include preventing gambling from becoming a source of crime or disorder, guaranteeing that gambling activities are conducted fairly and transparently, and to safeguard children and vulnerable individuals from harm or exploitation through gambling.

However, the Commission notes that a new three-year strategy carries the further duties of governing gambling ‘in the public interest’, encompassing the disciplines of “protecting consumers and the wider public, maintaining public confidence in the gambling sector and ensuring proper standards of conduct and competence are upheld by licence holders”.

Titled ‘Gambling Regulation in a Digital Age’, the strategy will focus on the following key areas over the next three years: 

– using data and analytics to make gambling regulation more effective;
– enhancing our core operational functions;
– setting clear evidence-based requirements for licensees;
– being proactive and addressing issues at the earliest opportunity;
– regulating a successful National Lottery.

SBC News UKGC prioritises data and evidence in new 2024-to-2027 strategy
Marcus Boyle: UKGC

Commission Chair Marcus Boyle said: “Our new three-year strategy ‘Gambling regulation in a digital age’ sets out how we will deliver the reforms set out in the Government’s gambling white paper, and successfully regulate the National Lottery under a new licensee”

“We are also setting out an ambitious programme to enhance the effectiveness of our regulation. A new data innovation hub will foster the smarter use of data. We will increase the transparency of our work to raise standards in the gambling industry, and we will be creative in disrupting those who seek to operate illegally.

“I want a fair, safe, and crime-free gambling market where consumers and the interests of the wider public are protected. This strategy will improve gambling regulation and move us closer to that vision.”

Delivering on the above commitments will allow the UKGC to enhance its engagement with stakeholders and ensure that it has the right resources at hand for effective regulation and a fairer gambling market for consumers, licensees and the wider public alike – as outlined in the video below. 

 

In its approach to data collection, the UKGC seeks to significantly deepen its understanding of consumer behaviours with gambling. To achieve this, the commission will broaden its program of data-sharing partnerships with gaming operators, an initiative that was first set in motion successfully amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Enhancing its data frameworks, the Commission will use data science methods to improve early identification of issues and our understanding of industry compliance.

The new strategy carries the commitment of setting clear evidence-based requirements for UK licensees. The Commission maintains the objective for licensees to ensure they comply with our standards at the earliest possible opportunity. Providing clear evidence is consistent with the National Audit Office’s (NAOs) principles of effective regulation, the UK Regulators’ code and principles of good governance.

The 2024-to-2027 strategy recognises that the UK gambling sector will experience significant reforms following the recommendations from the Gambling Review’s White Paper consultations, changes that are expected to notably affect how license holders interact with their customers.

Accordingly, the Commission plans to enhance its ability to assess and implement new rules and policy measures. During this period of change, it is anticipated that consumers, the general public, and licensees alike will reap the benefits of balanced and evidence-based regulations. New regulations will be designed to provide increased protection for consumers while also striving to impose only the minimum regulatory burden necessary to meet the objectives of licensing.

Andrew Rhodes, Commission CEO,  concluded: “I am proud of how far the Commission has come in the last few years. We’ve tackled some of the critical issues facing operators and consumers, but the next cycle will involve delivering on some of the key decisions that we and the government have taken.

“Our objective is to be the authoritative voice on evidence and data, to tackle misinformation, delve into the facts, and help bring about improved outcomes for the public. Our Gambling Survey for Great Britain is one example of how we aim to embrace new data and intelligence.

“It is vital we maintain high standards for gambling consumers, working with industry to resolve issues at the earliest opportunity. We will continue to work across borders to tackle common issues like illegal gambling, and to learn and share regulatory best practice.”



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