The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

15th February 2018 - Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners


  • John Baillie
  • Carol Brady
  • Stephen Cohen
  • Sarah Harrison (CEO)
  • Alison Hastings
  • Bill Moyes (Chair)
  • Sarika Patel
  • Trevor Pearce
  • Catharine Seddon
  • Jonathan Scott

Executive directors:

  • Sarah Gardner
  • James Mackay
  • Neil McArthur (General Counsel)
  • David Pemberton

In attendance:

  • (REDACTED) – Senior Manager, Lotteries Maximisation
  • James Holdaway – Head of National Lottery Licensing (item 6)
  • Paul Hope – Programme Director (item 2)
  • Simon Knee – Head of Finance (item 3)
  • (REDACTED) – Manager, Sector and Thematic (item 2)
  • Nick Moore – Head of PMO (item 4)
  • Oliver Sweeney – Head of Legal
  • Helen Venn – Programme Director
  • Mark Wagstaff – Head of Governance (notes)
  • Richard Watson – Programme Director




  • Tim Miller
  • Simone Pennie

Item 1: Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

There were no new declarations of interest.

Item 2: Minutes and actions from the meeting on 18 January 2018

The Board agreed the minutes of the meeting held on 18 January 2018.

Item 3: Gambling Review

Gambling Review cover paper GCP(18)19 and Gambling Review: formal advice GCP(18)20

The Board noted the paper.

The CEO made clear that the overall approach taken in our advice was intended to ensure that operators could not gain a competitive advantage by choosing not to raise standards. There would doubtless be further discussions about where to set the B2 stake limit. The CEO also reminded the Board that nothing in the advice required legislation.

Online Review: conclusions GCP(18)21

The Programme Director explained there had been discussions around publishing our advice on online issues separately and sooner. The Board was aware that the online advice was in response to a request from government and reflected actions that we could take ourselves. The recommendations did not require legislation. The document had been relabelled as a review of online, as our advice was included in the main document.

The Board agreed that the review of online should be published.

RET review: conclusions GCP(18)22

The Board agreed that there was a strong case for change to the current arrangements.

Item 4: Finance Report GCP(18)23

The Board noted the Finance report.

Item 5: Business Plan and Budget

Reserves Policy GCP(18)24

The Board noted the Business Plan and Budget.

The Board agreed the proposed structure for the Business Plan.

Item 6: National Lottery 4th Licence Competition 2018/19 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan GCP(18)26

Sarah Gardner left the room before this item.

James Mackay presented the medium-term business case for 4NLC.

Sarah Gardner returned to the room after this item.

Item 7: National Lottery 3rd Licence

Board Effectiveness Review GCP(18)27

James Mackay left the room before this item.

The Board noted the paper.

Marketing Investment Proposal GCP(18)28

The Board noted the proposal.

NL Update Report

The Board noted the NL update report.

James Mackay returned to the room after this item.

Item 8: Chief Executive Report

The CEO presented her final report to the Board. There had been further important progress on delivering for consumers, with enhanced interaction with CMA and ASA. Feedback showed that the Commission was achieving a higher quality of interaction with consumers. Further links were also being built with the public health agenda, for example Tim Miller’s work with the Chief Medical Officer in Wales.

Implementation of the Target Operating Model remained on track, though with the expected challenges of managing through transition.

The Board considered that a key challenge for the Business Plan was to maintain the momentum of consumer work, including ways to enable consumers to access the right information at the right time to make informed decisions.

EAG update

James Mackay gave a brief update on the NL4C Expert Adviser Group (EAG). The EAG had its initial meeting and received input from the NL3 team on the background and context of the NL licence process. A public announcement on creation of the EAG was expected in two or three weeks.

Balanced scorecard

The Board asked for clarification of the metrics on stakeholder perception. The CEO explained that the Commission used positivity metrics on media mentions, augmented with periodic stakeholder surveys.

Casework summary update

The Board noted the update.

Compliance and Licensing Update GCP(18)29

The Compliance Team approach of ‘show me don’t tell me’ and the review and testing of back office systems was uncovering more issues. We are also looking to hold Personal Licence holders/MLRO to account in the event of AML issues.

Licensing would see a spike of work in March, with the final bulk licence renewal. Work on automation was ongoing in various areas.

Item 9: Audit and Risk Committee update GCP(18)30

The Board noted the update.

Item 10: Board forward look

David Pemberton confirmed that a briefing paper on the IT strategy would come to the March Board meeting. It would also be useful to set aside time separately with the Board to discuss the IT Strategy.

The Board noted that a further update on Licensing would be beneficial, to follow up from the item at the January Board meeting.

Item 11: Review of the meeting

The Chairman asked for suggestions for Board workshop sessions.

Item 12: AOB

This was Sarah Harrison’s final Board meeting as the Commission’s CEO and Accounting Officer. The Chairman recorded thanks to Sarah for her transformative work with the organisation. Her contribution, including in strengthening the Commission’s consumer focus and raising its public profile, would have enduring effect. The Board expressed gratitude for Sarah’s impact and work for the Commission and wished her well for the future.

The CEO thanked the Board and colleagues for their support and wished them well for the future.

Is this page useful?
Back to top