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1. Using data and analytics to make gambling regulation more effective

Gambling Survey for Great Britain (GSGB) logo

Better evidence, driven by more effective use of data will lead to better regulation, which in turn will lead to better outcomes for consumers, the public and licensees.

Rapid advances in technology provide opportunities to regulated industries and their regulators. In gambling, licensees can offer increasingly complex and sophisticated products and services supported by advanced data techniques. We need to understand them and be able to keep pace with changes to continue to regulate in the public interest.

We recognise that the public’s expectations of the use of technology and data is also shifting. The opportunities available to improve regulation must be balanced against the public’s expectations for effective, responsible and appropriate use of data. Licensees also expect our approach to remain consistent with our Statement of principles for licensing and regulation and the Regulators’ Code.

To meet these challenges, we are undertaking an ambitious data programme, investing in tools, technology and skills within a new data innovation hub to enhance our knowledge, improve the integrity of our data and make it more relevant to current issues.

All of this will be underpinned by a strong governance framework, making our data easier to access and use for multiple purposes.

We want greater automation of our systems and processes to improve efficiency, minimise regulatory burdens and enable us to direct more resources to our frontline regulatory activities. This in turn will make us more responsive to emerging issues and provide greater protections for consumers and the wider public. It will also help us to alert the industry at the earliest possible opportunity to potential risks to the licensing objectives.

Key Commitments

We will significantly increase the depth of our understanding of the gambling market and consumer behaviour.

Why? Acquiring operator data more regularly and additional consumer research during Covid-19 showed how we could identify, publish and react to market and consumer trends much faster. Embedding this capability is critical to understand the changes arising from the Government’s White Paper and to enhance our ability to deliver our statutory duty to advise on the gambling market. Our long-term aspiration is to link data to achieve a fuller understanding of how the industry operates and how it impacts consumers and the wider public.

As a result, we will make progress against our published evidence gaps and priorities. We will undertake a rolling programme of high-quality consumer research. We will also improve the data we collect from licensees which guides our work, and ensures we continue to provide authoritative advice and statistics on gambling in Great Britain.

Consumers, the wider public and licensees will benefit from our interventions being better targeted and based on the best evidence of the potential consequences of action. This is consistent with our aim to improve understanding of how our work impacts both consumers and industry, using data to identify what works and adapting regulation as necessary.

We will use data science methods to improve early identification of issues and our understanding of industry compliance.

Why? Using advanced analytics to spot patterns and trends across licensees, business models, and sectors, we can obtain a deeper understanding of industry trends and consumer behaviour. Improved insight on market trends is valuable, but we also want data to generate insight that leads to action where we can intervene to secure improvements for consumers at the earliest opportunity, based on an enhanced understanding of risk and issues in the market.

As a result, we will be able to improve our understanding of operator risk by having a wider range of new linkable data sets and analytical capability.

Consumers and the wider public will benefit from a reduction in the likelihood of sustained or significant failings going undetected and which result in consumer harm. Compliant licensees will benefit from targeted action against licensees who seek commercial advantage by failing to meet required standards.

Why? We need a deeper and more robust understanding of who is suffering harm, when, why and on what products. Our long-term aspiration is to build a flexible, comprehensive and longitudinal view of people who are harmed, as well as why that harm occurs. This will identify past issues but also help predict where we can develop interventions to reduce the risk of harm arising in the first place.

As a result, a new Gambling Survey for Great Britain will provide high quality information about the gambling habits, attitudes and harms experienced across the adult population. This new survey triangulated with other research projects will enable us to better target our interventions and evaluate their impact detecting change within and between different consumer groups over time.

Consumers, the wider public and licensees will benefit from regulation and policy development being based on improved understanding from the Gambling Survey of Great Britain and other datasets. Our work will assist in raising collective understanding of gambling and gambling-related harm.

We will develop our internal capability to embed the effective use of data across all aspects of our work.

Why? To deliver our aspirations for this strategy we will need to ensure we pilot and adopt more data led solutions. This will include investing in people as well as in data storage and analysis.

As a result, we will improve our processes, how we set priorities, understanding what works and the robustness and visibility of our decision making. The processes and systems we currently use to manage our operation will be updated resulting in more effective use of data to improve performance across core financial, people and delivery metrics.

Consumers, the wider public and licensees will benefit from a more informed and efficient regulator able to target and intervene effectively on areas which present the greatest risk to a fair, safe and crime free gambling market.

We will collectively measure progress against these commitments by:

  • assessing ourselves against the Government Data Maturity Framework
  • auditing our data science capacity and capability on an annual basis, testing progress against our aspiration for improved promotion of data literacy and investment in data tools
  • publishing regular updates on what has changed within the gambling sector, our views on future change and related risks and opportunities
  • demonstrating how our understanding of our outcomes and our approach to evaluation has improved
  • evidencing how our assessment of risk has improved via more timely, targeted and effective interventions.
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Areas of Strategic Focus for 2024 to 2027
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2. Enhancing our core operational functions
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