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2 February 2023 — Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners

Minutes of the meeting of the Board, 09:30, Thursday 2 February 2023.

Location: Meeting via Microsoft Teams.


  • Marcus Boyle (Chair)
  • John Baillie (JB)
  • Stephen Cohen (SC)
  • Trevor Pearce (TP)
  • David Rossington (DR)
  • Catharine Seddon (CS)

Executive team:

  • Andrew Rhodes (AR)
  • Sarah Gardner (SG)
  • Lucy Denton (LD)
  • Helen Gibson (HG)
  • Tim Miller (TM)
  • Nadine Pemberton Jn Baptiste (NPJB) (up to 10.30 and 11.15 to 13.00 only)
  • Alastair Quigley (AQ)
  • Kay Roberts (KR)
  • John Tanner (JT)

Other participants:

  • (REDACTED) (item 8 only)
  • (REDACTED) (item 7 only)
  • (REDACTED) (notes)
  • (REDACTED) (item 13 only)
  • (REDACTED) (item 12 only)
  • (REDACTED) (item 10 only)
  • (REDACTED) (item 6 only)
  • (REDACTED) (items 8 and 9 only)
  • (REDACTED) (item 8 only)
  • (REDACTED) (items 5 and 12 only)
  • (REDACTED) (item 6 only)


  • (REDACTED) (items 10 and 12 only)
  • (REDACTED) (items 10 and 12 only)

Apologies: None

1. Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting, adding that he was broadening attendance at Board meetings in response to feedback from the Great Place to Work (GPTW) survey. He also noted that the results of the Board Effectiveness Review (BER) would benefit from discussion in person so will be held over to the March meeting.

There were no apologies.

There were no new declarations of interests.

2. Minutes, actions and forward look

The minutes of the Board meetings held on 22 September 2022, 1 December 2022 and the minutes of the extraordinary Board meeting held on 19 January 2023 were approved as true and accurate records of the meetings.

The actions and forward look were noted and approved. On the actions, the Chair remarked that he has discussed with LD a series of actions for the coming months to get Commissioners more involved with and visible to Gambling Commission colleagues. LD will be in touch with Commissioners to arrange.

Action: LD to contact Commissioners to arrange a series of actions over the coming months to enhance Commissioner engagement with Commission colleagues.

3. Chief Executive Officer’s (CEO’s) report

The Board noted the report for information.


The Commission had been surprised to hear that the CEO of 888 had left with immediate effect. The Chair and AR met them on Monday to discuss the situation.


AR introduced the new style performance pack. There are some areas that need more work but they are included for completeness. This is the pack that the Executive Team use to monitor performance, and AR hoped it is the step forward the Board have been looking for.

The Board discussed the report. AR was asked about recent engagement with operator CEOs.


4. Chair’s report

The Board noted the report for information.


5. Performance metrics

The Board noted the paper for steer: ‘the Board is asked to note the development of the performance management scorecard over Q3’.

HG and (REDACTED) introduced the new performance pack, which had generated good discussions at the last Executive Team meeting. Regarding business plan delivery, 25 percent of deliverables have been re-planned into 2023 to 2024 as they were predicated on the publication of the Gambling Act Review. Proxy measures have been included in this performance pack to give a sense of impact on the Commission’s wider strategic objectives.

The Board discussed the scorecard, noting significant improvement from the information included in the December board pack. In finance reporting it would be worth including a high-level indication on budgets and actual spend – proxy and longitudinal – to give more context and indication of historical data. There were also requests for some narrative, and sense of trends.

The Chair recognised the hard work in developing the report and asked for the Q4 iteration to have a Comms narrative as well to contextualise the report as part of the Commission story.

6. Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) update

The Board noted the update for information. The Chair added that D&I updates would remain on the agenda until the Board is completely content with the strategy.

(REDACTED) the Head of Organisation Development introduced the paper. Since Board in December, the draft strategy has been shared with the Executive Team, who urged greater ambition. People Services are working with several members of the Executive Team to co-develop the strategy.

They noted that operational changes continue; an anonymised recruitment process has been taken through a test environment, and an inclusion calendar has been developed with internal Comms as part of educational and confidence building around D&I.

The Board discussed the paper. SC, as the Board’s diversity champion, asked how the organisation was reacting to the development of the strategy. The Interim Change Manager D&I (REDACTED) replied that there is a great feeling of positivity trying to understand how to develop that journey. The Board were pleased with the direction of the work, particularly the dual focus of practical progress and strategic development.

7. Regulatory Strategy

The Board noted the paper for information.


The Board discussed the strategy.


AR thanked the Board for their comments.


Action: AR, SG and KR to continue to develop the Regulatory Strategy and return to Board when ready.

8. Consultations

The Board noted the paper, with elements for information and decision.


9. Gambling Act Review – White Paper

TM advised the Board that there had been a further round of ministerial engagement with various stakeholders. (REDACTED).

There were no questions from Commissioners.

10. Risk Register review

The Board noted the paper. (REDACTED) the Head of Governance introduced the item. They confirmed the key risks have been decided with the Executive Team, and since publishing the pack we have added a new risk: ‘data quality within licensing’. (REDACTED) the Senior Manager, Governance and Risk Assurance, added that risk F5 is related to funding and captures wider risks relating to operations. On the two cyber security risks, the Board were advised that cyber security is now captured in management reporting and will be covered at the next meeting of Audit and Risk Committee (ARC).

The Board discussed the report.


The Chair was pleased with the direction of this work and would expect future reporting to include a statement of mitigations, especially in relation to newly identified risks.

11. Chair’s vision for 2023 to 2024 and beyond

The Chair outlined his strategic vision for the Commission.


12. Business planning prioritisation

The Board noted the paper for steer.

  • a) to note the progress that has been made in relation to identifying priority items and next steps
  • b) note and comment on the proposed layout of the Business Plan (annex 4) and agree to receive the final draft via correspondence (for sign-off at March Board).

HG outlined progress and engagement since December. Work has started on the budget, which will be presented to Board in March.

The Board discussed progress made to date and commented on the new layout. They noted that the rationale for raising or dropping priorities was clear and sensible. It was confirmed that a lessons learned exercise had been conducted after the last business planning process, which had fed into the current process. This included a clearer timetable and milestones, better engagement with and feedback from the Executive Team and running business planning and budgeting in parallel.

There was discussion of where data work was included in the plan, which revealed that there are elements of data strategy work within the top tier items, and that the Regular feed of Operator Core Data (ROCD) and technical data services work would form part of an overarching data strategy. (REDACTED) the Director of Research and Statistics will take ownership of the work temporarily until we know who will permanently lead data.


The Chair remarked that really good progress has been made and confirmed the Board is content to endorse the proposed next steps:

  1. Finalise detailed analysis of options, including resourcing requirements (both people and money).
  2. Circulate full list of costed deliverables and external Business Plan to Board via correspondence (February).
  3. Share draft business plan for Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) review and comment (Mid-February).
  4. Final Business Plan sign-off at March Board.

13. Finance report


The Board noted the December 2022 finance report.


The Board discussed the paper.


14. Any other business

AR advised Board that the Commission’s submission to the Department for Culture Media and Sport Select Committee enquiry into gambling was due by 10 February. It will be shared with Board.

The Chair thanked attendees for their engagement through the meeting.

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