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12 December 2019 - Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners

Victoria Square House, Birmingham (Boardroom)


  • Bill Moyes
  • John Baillie
  • Stephen Cohen
  • Trevor Pearce (up to 12:30)
  • Jonathan Scott (from 10:00)
  • Catharine Seddon

Executive directors:

  • Sarah Gardner
  • Paul Hope
  • Neil McArthur
  • Tim Miller
  • John Tanner
  • Helen Venn

In attendance:

  • (REDACTED) (Board Secretary)
  • (REDACTED) (Legal)
  • (REDACTED) (notes)
  • Plus attendees for specific items

External attendees:

  • (REDACTED) and (REDACTED) (NAO) (item 3 only)
  • (REDACTED) (DCMS) (item 5 only)


  • Carol Brady
  • Richard Watson

Commissioner and CEO session

Not minuted.

Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

There were no declarations of interest.

1. Minutes, rolling actions, forward look and Chair’s business

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2019 were approved.

The rolling actions were reviewed and updated.

The Board forward look was reviewed and updated. John Tanner advised an extraordinary Board meeting will be required prior to the launch of the Selection Questionnaire on 10 February 2020, which can be held as a conference call.

Action: Governance to schedule an extraordinary Board meeting in the first week of February 2020. (REDACTED).

Bill Moyes updated the Board on the Chair’s business, in particular:

  • 11 December 2019 meeting with Buzz Bingo: the Chair and CEO met with the Board of Buzz Bingo. It was a good meeting and Buzz Bingo were clear on the regulatory agenda
  • 11 December 2019 meeting with Senet: the Chair, CEO and Executive Director (Safer Gambling) met with (REDACTED), Chair, and (REDACTED), CEO. The meeting went fairly well, and we are keen to maintain a relationship with Senet, although their long-term plan is currently unclear
  • Gambling with Lives (GwL): the Chair has received a detailed letter from GwL following on from the meeting in November 2019. This will need a swift and equally detailed response, which is in progress. Tim Miller will bring an ‘Experts by Experience’ paper to the January 2020 Board meeting which will address the thinking behind a ‘lived experience’ members Advisory Group.

2. Improvements to regulatory data collection

The Board noted the paper.

The interim Chief Technology Officer clarified that the Board is being asked for endorsement of a short consultation in early 2020 to look at ways to change some of the regulatory data collection for three main reasons:

  • to improve timeliness and quality of data
  • to stop collecting some data which is no longer used
  • to ensure Operators are only submitting data we use.

The Board agreed that the Commission launches a short consultation on changes to our regulatory data requirements and collection approach, delegating final sign-off of the detailed proposals and follow-on implementation (including LCCP changes) to the Executive Group.

3. National Audit Office (NAO) review of gambling regulation – presentation of findings

The Board noted the slide deck.

(REDACTED) and (REDACTED) talked through the previously circulated slides.

4. Finance update regarding supplementary estimates

The Board noted the paper.

The Board agreed to the proposal noting the financial position and agreed the proposed actions in Annexe A noting the continuing review of expenditure priorities that is being undertaken by the CEO and Executive Group.

5. Update on Commissioner recruitment and wider DCMS update

Not minuted

6. National Lottery Competition update

The Board noted the paper.

John Tanner gave an update following the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) review, which had been completed on 11 December 2019. The written report is expected in the week beginning 16 December, so for now we only have their initial feedback. Overall, the rating will be amber, which is realistic and bears out the Commission’s own judgment.

The Board formally noted:

  • the draft ITA and draft licence were published on 2 December, and the plans to SQ and ITA have been developed further
  • the draft Outline Business Case has been shared with IPA review team and DCMS, and note that we have advised DCMS that the value of the funding request (>£10m) warrants scrutiny by Treasury and Cabinet Office, to minimise risk of our actions being challenge at a later stage. (para 15)

7. Resolution to appoint a new Chair of Audit and Risk Committee and amend membership requirements of National Lottery Committee

The Board noted the paper.

The Chair expressed his thanks to John Baillie for agreeing to take on the role of Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee temporarily until new Commissioners are appointed. Once new Commissioners are in place membership of all Committees will be revised, noting the current imbalance of 4 Commissioners on NLCC and fewer elsewhere.

The Board agreed:

  • the appointment of John Baillie as the new Chair of Audit and Risk Committee with effect from 13 December 2019
  • a revised membership of two Commissioners for NLC at paragraph 4 of the NLC terms of reference (Appendix 4 of the Corporate Governance Framework) and an associated change to paragraph 19 to show quorum as two Commissioners only
  • ability for NLC to make decisions through the non-contentious process, i.e. by correspondence.

Action: Governance Team to amend and publish revised documents.

The Board noted the paper.

The Board approved:

  • that the Commission bans gambling with credit cards for remote gambling and for non-remote betting
  • that the Commission announces the outcomes of the consultation as soon as possible after the 12 December 2019 Board meaning that a ban would be in effect from the start of April 2010 (we need to give 3 months’ notice of changes to LCCP)
  • sign-off of the responses document to the Executive Group.

9. Business plan and budget session

The Board noted the slide deck.

A detailed discussion took place with key points as follows:

  • the Commission is taking a different approach to last year, which went by strategic priority, and is this year looking across all the strategic priorities to facilitate a high-level discussion
  • the Business Plan is led by the Executive Group facilitated by PMO.

The Board agreed that:

  • the proposal to base our Gambling Act expenditure plans on a neutral income projection and to adjust spend upwards in Q4 (when income is clearer) if possible
  • their support of the proposed priorities, with a caveat they will need a further, costed and crisp proposal for the next discussion session in February 2020, together with a defined timeline.

10. Any other business and review of the meeting:

It was agreed the meeting had been good, with valuable contribution from (REDACTED) and to invite him to Board in December 2020 and thereafter on an annual basis. More time with the NAO would have been beneficial.

Action: Invite (REDACTED) to December 2020 Board meeting. (Governance).

11. Commissioner only session including a review of the meeting and feedback from the Chair on Commissioner appraisals

Not minuted.

12. Further items for discussion by exception only


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