UKGC’s Tim Miller: It’s vital that global gambling regulators collaborate

Collaboration concept
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The UK Gambling Commission’s Tim Miller believes it is “vital” that global gambling regulators work together as they all face the same risks and challenges.

The Executive Director of the UKGC made this request during his speech earlier this week at the Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Miller began his address by giving an overview of the current British gambling landscape, before going into why it was so important for regulators across the world to collaborate.

He noted: “Leading operators are now multi-nationals. As more North American jurisdictions open up to online gambling or sports betting, we see more and more large British or European operators looking to establish themselves here, in your markets. And that’s why we think international collaboration is so vital between gambling regulators.

“Increasingly we regulate the same companies; we address the same risks; we face the same challenges.”

Miller emphasised how it is vital for regulators to cooperate when it comes to illegal online gambling, as operators might be legal in one jurisdiction, but illegal in another.

“Only through working together can we ensure we all have safe, fair and crime-free gambling”

“The more gambling regulators know of each other’s rules, standards and markets, the more we are sharing information and best practices, the more we support each other then the more effective we will be,” stated the UKGC Executive Director.

“This in turn makes it harder for uncooperative operators to circumvent a regulator’s regime or means they are more likely to face difficult questions in their home jurisdiction if they act poorly elsewhere. In short, if you are noncompliant in one jurisdiction don’t be surprised if you are the subject of regulatory conversation in other jurisdictions.”

Miller highlighted the work the UKGC has done recently with North American regulators to enhance collaboration, as well as concluding several Memoranda of Understanding with US authorities to “establish clear working relationships that will support all of us to be more effective”.

The Commission has also helped to create stronger ties between the North American Gaming Regulators Association and the Gambling Regulators European Forum to share more knowledge and experiences cross-continentally.

Going back to illegal gambling, the Executive Director noted how collaboration between the UKGC, payment providers, internet search providers, as well as product and games developers, has helped to reduce traffic to the largest illegal sites coming into the UK market by 46 per cent.

He also mentioned the discussions the Commission has held recently with European regulators about how to better tackle illegal online gambling, as well as with other regulators including those in Australia and Curaçao.

He stated: “Only through working together can we ensure we all have safe, fair and crime-free gambling. If as regulators we are able to speak, more often, with one voice then it will enhance our ability to influence those outside the industry – who need to play a more positive and direct role in tackling issues like illegal gambling.

“No regulator, regardless of their experience or scale, can be the world police for this industry”

“The collective voice of gambling regulators across the globe pressuring big tech companies, banks and even some other jurisdictions to address the role they play in facilitating illegal gambling, will be much harder to ignore.”

Miller also highlighted the work that the UKGC has been doing over the last couple of months since the UK government released the Gambling Act Review White Paper in April, including its first round of consultations.

The Executive Director also brought attention to projects such as GamProtect to deliver a holistic view of the risk of harm – Single Customer View – as well as a new methodology for collecting Participation and Prevalence data in the Gambling Survey of Great Britain.

He concluded: “Gambling is a global industry with global operators. No regulator, regardless of their experience or scale, can be the world police for this industry.

“But by working together and committing to collaboration, we can make sure we each achieve the safer, fairer and crime-free gambling that we want for our jurisdictions and for our consumers.”

Earlier this month, the UKGC’s Ben Haden outlined two projects to help analyse how operating data can be better utilised to “close the gaps in the knowledge” about gambling and those who gamble in Great Britain.