Sarah Gardner, UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) Deputy CEO, has stressed the importance of collaboration between the world’s regulators in the battle to maintain and improve global gambling standards.
The call for countries to pool their resources and knowledge together comes as the UK awaits publication of the White Paper, a review of its gambling standards.
Recently, it was also announced that a cross-party DCMS committee would be launching an inquiry into the UK government’s approach to the regulation of gambling, focusing its efforts on tackling problem gambling and how children can be better protected from gambling-related harms.
Addressing industry stakeholders at the Danish Gambling Authority’s (DGA) recent industry event, Gardner called for national regulators to liaise and ‘deepen international collaboration’.
She said: “We see greater collaboration amongst all gambling regulators across the world, as the essential next step in tackling the challenges that the global gambling market poses for us all.”
Making comparisons between the betting markets in the UK and Denmark, Gardner also observed that there is an argument made by some stakeholders that customers could ‘jump from regulated gambling into unregulated gambling’ if stricter player protection measures are introduced in the UK.
This viewpoint has often been raised by groups such as the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) for example, over the past two years, targeting blanket affordability checks.
“I cannot accept this argument,” she asserted. “Indeed, I believe that no regulator should knowingly allow bad practices of the type we are talking about here, practices which can cause harm, to carry on in the regulated market.
“And whilst we – like you – have a level of concern about illegal online gambling and it will always be an important focus for us, we have no time for those risks being overstated, without credible evidence, either.”
In Gardner’s view, the argument that the regulator should ‘scale back or stop some of the interventions’ necessary in the regulated market to mitigate this perceived threat is inaccurate.