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24 March 2022 — Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners

Location: Board room, 4th floor, Victoria Square House, Birmingham and via Microsoft Teams


  • Marcus Boyle (Chair)
  • Terry Babbs
  • John Baillie
  • Brian Bannister (via Microsoft Teams)
  • Carol Brady
  • Stephen Cohen (via Microsoft Teams)
  • Trevor Pearce
  • Catharine Seddon

Executive team:

  • Andrew Rhodes (CEO)
  • Sarah Gardner (DCEO)
  • Helen Gibson (FD)
  • Charlotte Leonard (interim COO)
  • Tim Miller (via Microsoft Teams)
  • Nadine Pemberton (up to 14:10) (Legal)
  • John Tanner
  • Vin Wijeratne (interim CFO)

Other participants:

  • (REDACTED) (Board Secretary)
  • (REDACTED) (notes)
  • (REDACTED) (item 8 only)
  • (REDACTED) (item 8 only)
  • Lucy Denton (items 1 to 11 only)
  • Brad Enright
  • Ben Haden (item 8 only)
  • (REDACTED) (item 9 only) (via Microsoft Teams)

External attendee (via Microsoft Teams):

  • Chris Philp MP, DCMS Minister (item 5 only)

Apologies: None

1. Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting, particularly the new Finance Director to the meeting, who introduced herself to the Board.

There were no apologies.

There was one new declaration of interest from the Chair: he has been appointed Chair of The Room Group Limited as of March 2022.

2. Minutes, Actions and Forward Look

The minutes of the meeting held on 20 January 2022 were approved as a true and accurate record of the meeting.

The actions and forward look were not discussed.

3. CEO’s report

The CEO presented a verbal update report to the Board.

We recently held a leaders live event for the whole Gambling Commission leadership group; this was a very positive event and will lead into a wider staff event next year.


4. Preparation for Ministerial session

Board members agreed on issues to be raised.


5. Minister visit

The Chair welcomed the Minister to the meeting.

The Minister thanked the Board for inviting him today.


The Minister then went on to address other key points.


The Chair thanked the Minister for joining today’s Board and looks forward to him attending another Board meeting and working closely together. The Minister echoed the Chair’s words.


6. Chair’s report

The Chair gave a verbal update to the Board.


6.1 Commissioner engagement

The Board briefly discussed the Commissioner engagement paper. The Board were broadly in favour but looked for a greater opportunity to be inclusive in engaging with staff, and to hear from the widest range of staff from across the organisations.

7. Sprints update: plans for implementation

The Board noted the update.


8. What do we know about problem gambling

The Board noted the slide deck.

Key point: on aspirations, we need to be a more authoritative voice on statistics; where we see unvalidated evidence we need to validate, and we should challenge misuse of official statistics.


9. Gambling Act Review: update

The Director of Major Projects introduced the paper, provided as an update.


10. Regulatory Delivery Strategy update

The Board noted the update.


11. FPC assurance report

The Chair had nothing to add to the written report.

11.1 Business plan and budget 2022-23

The Board noted the business plan and budget, asking Board to approve the Business Plan and Budget for 2022-23.


Subject to some final tweaks as discussed, the Board approved the interim business plan and budget for 2022-23.

12. Finance report

The Board noted the report.


13. Risk appetite matrix

The Board noted the paper, inviting the Board to discuss and agree and set the risk appetite for the next 12 months, noting this is very much a paper for discussion.


The Chair thanked the COO and Executive Team for moving this piece of work on and Board agreed they would like to see a further iteration at the next Board meeting, the final version to be agreed at Board level.

14. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) update

The COO reported on what has been progressed since discussing this topic at December Board.

Since December, Jo Hill and Stephen Cohen have been involved as Board-level sponsors of D&I.

The next step is to energise a formal strategy, and to possibly outsource some professional help with that to structure it. There is already a lot of D&I focusing internally on how we operate. We want to shape this piece of work to demonstrate publicly how we set policy and what we are doing on this piece of work. We should have more steps in place for the June Board depending on how much more discussion time can be created between now and then.


15. 4NLC update briefing

There was nothing to add to the CEO’s verbal report.

16. Committee assurance reports

Audit and Risk Committee: the Board noted the report.


National Lottery Committee: the Board noted the report.


17. Any other business

Review of the meeting: the Board were in agreement that the meeting had been a very good one, and commended colleagues on a concise Board pack and shorter, improved papers.


18. Commissioner and CEO only session – not minuted

19. Below the line items: for discussion by exception only – none of the items were discussed


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