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21 January 2021 - Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners

Location: Virtual meeting by Microsoft Teams


  • Bill Moyes (Chair)
  • Terry Babbs
  • John Baillie
  • Carol Brady
  • Stephen Cohen
  • Jo Hill
  • Trevor Pearce
  • Catharine Seddon

In attendance:

  • Neil McArthur
  • Sally Jones
  • Tim Miller
  • Tamsin Morgan
  • John Tanner (items 12, 13, 14 & 15)
  • Helen Venn
  • Richard Watson
  • REDACTED (Board Secretary)
  • REDACTED (Legal)
  • REDACTED (notes)
  • Natalie Prosser (General Counsel) plus attendees for specific items as listed
  • REDACTED (Chair, DAP) (items 1-7)
  • REDACTED (Chair)
  • REDACTED (Director of Corporate Affairs)
  • REDACTED (item 9)


  • Sarah Gardner

1. Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

Apologies were noted from Sarah Gardner and REDACTED.

The Chair welcomed the Chairs of ABSG and DAP to the meeting.


Catharine Seddon declared new interests, having been appointed to the Board of Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority and chair designate on its Audit & Risk Committee and has also been appointed to the Health Services Product Tribunal as a founding member.

There were no other declarations of interest.

2. Minutes, actions, forward look

The minutes of the meeting held on 19 November 2020 were approved as an accurate record of the meeting.

The actions log was reviewed with no changes.

The forward look was reviewed with no changes.

3. Gambling Act Review: online protections

The Board noted the paper.


4. Corporate strategy development

Draft Corporate Strategy: the Board noted the paper, key points as highlighted below:

  • the current draft paper is built on the outline of what the Board discussed at its meeting on 19 November 2020
  • a final paper will come to Board at its meeting on 25 March 2021 for sign off
  • officials intend to create a “strategy on a page” to make the document more accessible
  • the Board welcomed the work that had been done and provided steers on drafting, encouraging a confident and assertive tone, and recognising that this document will underpin key activity in the coming three years.

Draft phase 1 metrics:

The Board noted the paper, key points as follows:

  • officials had hoped to present an emerging strategy and a robust baseline of metrics to use to demonstrate impact on the strategic areas. Having got into the detail officials are of the view it needs to be more iterative
  • the paper attempts to summarise why officials have reached this conclusion and to narrow the focus of work to the strategic objectives
  • the Board concluded that focus on the regulatory remit is the right way to proceed
  • an exercise of prioritisation will be the next step. The paper is due to come back to the 25 March 2021 Board meeting when the Board will see the next iteration of the paper.

5. Safer Games Design: consultation response

The Board noted the paper.


The Board approved:

  • the recommendation to proceed and proposed approach to timings, as outlined in the Board paper, noting the associated risk and mitigating factors
  • the implementation of the consultation proposals, with a slightly different approach for the prevention of multiple slots play from that contained in the original consultation (moving from outright prohibition to prohibition on providing facilities/split screen).

6. Publishing operator data

The Board noted the slide deck.


7. Stakeholder relations

The Board noted the paper.


8. Latest lockdown: impact on the Gambling Commission

The Board noted the slide deck, key points as follows:

  • work has been carried out to understand the impact of sickness and caring responsibilities on staff since the outbreak of Covid-19. It appears that people are becoming less resilient in general as lockdown continues. The CEO will continue to reinforce the message that health and wellbeing are paramount. It is likely that mental health issues are higher than recorded
  • it was clarified that work on the National Strategy implementation will not stop, but responsibility will be shared more widely within the Commission.

9. Raising standards: the view from industry

The Chair welcomed the REDACTED Chair, the CEO and Director of Corporate Affairs to the meeting.


A slide deck was presented by REDACTED covering the importance of player protection, the single customer view, and their concerns regarding illegal gambling.


The Chair thanked REDACTED for attending and said he would welcome a Board to Board meeting in the near future.

10. Corporate Governance Framework (CGF) updates

The Board noted the paper.

The CGF is subject to routine review every three years and was last considered in full by correspondence in June 2020. This paper proposes amendments to three appendices of the CGF to ensure operational effectiveness.

The Board approved:

  • amendments to CGF Appendix 5: Complaints Policy, subject to final sign off by Carol Brady and the Board Secretary
  • amendments to CGF Appendix 6: delegation of licensing and regulatory decisions as proposed
  • amendments to CGF Appendix 13: National Lottery Competition Committee Terms of Reference as proposed
  • amendments to the Reset 2020 Project board’s terms of reference as proposed, subject to renaming it ‘Reset Project Board’, and the review date being extended to end 2021.

11. Update on budget and business planning process

The Board noted the slide deck., key points as follows:


12. Finance report

The Board noted the report.


13. Finance & Performance Committee: Chair’s report

The Board noted the report. A verbal update of the 19 January 2021 meeting had been given at item 11.

14. National Lottery Committee: Chair’s report

The Board noted the report.

15. National Lottery Competition Committee: Chair’s report

The Board noted the report.


16. 4NLC evaluation approach update to Board

The Board noted the paper.


17. National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms: year 3 and beyond – workshop

Not minuted – recommendations approved.

18. Any Other Business

There was no other business.

19. Private session: Commissioners and CEO only

Not minuted.


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