Andrew Rhodes, Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), praised the progress of the gaming sector in 2023, as he emphasised his belief that there was success when it comes to reducing the most extreme compliance failings.

Yesterday (6th December), off the back of a two-year interval, Rhodes addressed delegates at the GambleAware Conference, as he emphasised the importance of an uncompromising approach to compliance. 

As licensed operators are aware of the consequences of failing in their regulatory duties, the Commission’s approach towards the industry has changed, focusing on moving discussions beyond basic compliance.

He told delegates: “Progress on that front means movement away from constantly needing to fight to enforce minimum standards and compliance will mean more space. Space to discuss what are actually more challenging issues. And that is where we have arrived today.”

It builds towards the overall ambitions of the regulatory bodies to make the UK gambling space the safest market in the world.  

Rhodes also highlighted the vital nature of collaboration, as he shone a light on the development and scope of the GamProtect scheme. The data-sharing cross-industry collaboration aims to provide the quickest intervention for those at risk of gambling harm, ensuring data protection and collaboration with other entities.

He continued: “GamProtect is already seeing those most at risk of very serious health-related harm through their gambling benefiting from a multi-operator approach across the biggest gambling companies, whilst all their personal data is protected.

“We have worked hard with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) to support this project, which is being developed with the team at GamStop, and we look forward to further updates on it in the coming months.”

Concluding his address, Rhodes stated that through combined efforts, UK gambling had achieved the foundations to deliver on the new objectives of the Gambling Review’s White Paper.

“The next few years do represent a golden opportunity to make gambling safer, fairer, and crime-free,” he noted. “Working together, we can, as GambleAware suggested today, turn the page to that new chapter. Thank you for your efforts and your time today.”