Industry leaders gathered at the GambleAware Annual Conference on December 6, 2023, to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the gaming sector. UK Gambling Commission (GC) CEO Andrew Rhodes delivered an impactful keynote speech, stressing the importance of collaboration and highlighting significant progress made in recent months.

Rhodes commended the gaming industry for its remarkable strides in meeting standards and complying with regulations set by the GC. There has been a substantial improvement in reducing extreme failings in casework over the past two years.

He emphasized that this progress allows the regulator to adopt a different approach with the industry, moving beyond strict enforcement to focus on more challenging issues. Compliance is seen as a crucial first step for gaming operators.

Rhodes expressed support for the widespread adoption of the GamProtect scheme, which addresses serious health-related harms associated with gambling. Collaboration with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) was highlighted in developing the project with GamStop.

As gaming crosses borders, Rhodes emphasized the importance of collaboration with global gaming regulators. Sharing best practices and encouraging other jurisdictions to adopt British standards are crucial for international engagement.

The speech underscored the significance of collaborating with organizations present at the conference to enhance evidence, data, and research related to gaming in Great Britain. The GC has taken initiatives to improve evidence gathering, including a recent conference and a three-year evidence gaps review.

Chief Executive Andrew Rhodes introduced the comprehensive Gambling Survey for Great Britain, aimed at improving data collection on gaming behaviors. Developed over three years, this survey is set to be the largest of its kind globally, providing detailed insights into gaming habits.

The speech acknowledged the experimental nature of recent participation and prevalence data, looking forward to upcoming official statistics as a baseline for future comparisons. An independent review by Professor Patrick Sturgis will further refine the survey methodology.

The speech concluded with CEO Andrew Rhodes expressing gratitude for collective efforts and highlighting the golden opportunity presented in the next few years to make gaming safer, fairer, and free of crime. Collaboration, as suggested by GambleAware, is the key to ushering in a new chapter in the industry.

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