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28 June 2018 - Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners

Commissioners:

  • John Baillie
  • Carol Brady
  • Stephen Cohen
  • Alison Hastings
  • Bill Moyes (Chair)
  • Sarika Patel
  • Trevor Pearce
  • Simone Pennie
  • Jonathan Scott
  • Catharine Seddon.

Executive directors:

  • Nicky Heathcote – Interim Exec Director
  • Paul Hope – Interim Exec Director
  • Neil McArthur – CEO
  • Tim Miller
  • David Pemberton
  • Helen Venn – Interim Exec Director
  • Richard Watson – Interim Exec Director.

In attendance:

  • Teresa Camey – Programme Director NL4
  • (REDACTED) – Senior Manager Strategic Analysis (item 2)
  • Brad Enright – Programme Director (item 2 & 8)
  • (REDACTED) – Governance Manager (notes)
  • (REDACTED) – Senior Lawyer
  • Simon Knee – Head of Finance (item 5)
  • (REDACTED) – Manager Sector and Thematic (item 2).

Apologies

  • Oliver Sweeney – Head of Legal.

Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

There were no new declarations of interest.

The Chair welcomed Nicky Heathcote, Paul Hope, Teresa Camey and (REDACTED) to the meeting.

Item 1: Minutes and actions from the meeting on 24 May 2018

The minutes of the meeting 24 May 2018 were agreed.

The rolling actions were reviewed, and updates agreed.

Item 2: Consultation on proposed changes to LCCP linked to the fair and open licensing objective

The Board noted the paper. Brad Enright, (REDACTED) and (REDACTED) presented the proposals following the consultation on Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) to the Board. The proposed changes to the LCCP will ensure that the full scope of the Commission’s Regulatory powers are deployed to address the failure of operators to offer gambling in a fair and open manner, particularly in relation to advertising and unfair terms. The roles of the Commission’s partners the CMA, ICO and ASA are well established. An impressive number of consumers engaged with the consultation process and several areas for further investigation outside of the scope of the consultation were established.

The Board were assured that:

  • Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) were in place with the Commission’s partners to account for GDPR issues
  • clarity has been provided to consumers over the regulatory responsibilities of each of the partners and where to report concerns
  • benchmarking is taking place to ensure best practice complaints handling among regulatory partners
  • accountability of PML holders will form part of compliance activity related to the proposals.

The Board agreed the proposals subject to the following changes:

  • the scope of the proposals will be outlined in the introduction of the publication
  • the term “sharpening” (paragraph 21.ii) will be clearly defined.

Actions

  • the Executive team will sign off the final response document on the proposed changes to LCCP
  • an update on relevant activities being undertaken by GC and ASA to be provided.

Item 3: 4th National Lottery Licence Competition - Lessons learned and project reset plans

The Board noted the paper. Neil McArthur informed the Board that Sarah Gardner had made a significant contribution to the paper. The document had been compiled following extensive consultation with colleagues and DCMS in addition to feedback from the EAG. The input of the Board was welcomed.

Item 4: Audit and Risk Committee Annual Update

Sarika Patel presented the annual ARC update.

The Chair thanked the ARC for the valuable work that had been progressed in 2017-2018.

Item 5: Finance Report

The Board noted the report.

Item 6: Chief Executive’s quarterly review and forward look

Neil McArthur presented his 100-day review to address any developments that have not be adequately covered in the CEO’s weekly updates to the Board. It was reported that the 2018 Collaboration and Innovation Event had been well received. The Communications Strategy now has a plan for each strategic priority, ensuring effective stakeholder arrangements. The Board were informed that DCMS have recruited a new director to oversee gambling, which will result in increased interest in the Commission’s activities.

The Board agreed that the report was very useful, and it would be valuable to see similar reports as appropriate in future.

Item 7: Board forward look

The Board did not comment on the Board Forward Look.

Item 8: Workshop discussion: Right to Bet

Brad Enright outlined the three categories of betting consumers, “recreational punters”, “savvy punters” and “professional punters”. The issue of restrictions being placed on consumers who win consistently by operators has been heightened by developments in technology including; betting exchanges, social media and trading software. Among consumers there is an acceptance that professional punters will be restricted, however savvy punters do not need to be restricted in the same way. There are several strategies that could be utilised to address restrictions, these include the introduction of mandatory bet levels as introduced in some Australian states, a statutory ‘right to bet’ or voluntary industry measures on minimum bet guarantees. In the absence of a statutory right to bet the Commission has committed to facilitate dialogue between consumer groups and industry to support sensible steps which recognise the concern. It is important however to ensure that the steps taken to address the concerns of the vocal minority who are impacted do not have adverse consequences for those consumers who do not experience restrictions.

The Board agreed the Commission’s existing approach to the right to bet should be maintained.

Item 9: Review of the meeting

The Board did not comment on this item.

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