Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

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

6 December 2018 - Minutes of the meeting of the Board of Commissioners


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

In attendance:

  • (REDACTED) (observer)
  • Vic Beaumont
  • (REDACTED) (items 4 & 5)
  • (REDACTED) (item 7)
  • (REDACTED) (Company Secretary)
  • Nicky Heathcote
  • Paul Hope
  • Anna Howe (item 5)
  • Philip Lloyd
  • Neil McArthur
  • Tim Miller
  • Tamsin Morgan (item 6)
  • (REDACTED) (item 7)
  • (REDACTED) (item 7)
  • (REDACTED) (items 8 & 9)
  • (REDACTED) (items 8 & 9)
  • Teresa Camey (item 10)
  • (REDACTED) (item 10)
  • David Pemberton
  • (REDACTED) (item 10)
  • (REDACTED) (item 13)
  • Oliver Sweeney (Legal)
  • Helen Venn REDACTED (minutes)


  • Stephen Cohen

Closed session:

  • Commissioners and CEO – not minuted

Welcome, apologies and declarations of interest

There were no new declarations of interest. The Chair welcomed (REDACTED) as an observer of the meeting.

1. Minutes, actions and forward look

The minutes of the meeting held on 18 October 2018 were approved, subject to the following clarification: that responsibility for detection and awareness of treatment options was the responsibility of operations. The Board noted the improved quality of the minutes and thanked the Secretariat.

The rolling actions were reviewed, and updates agreed, noting that business that was added to the forward look in response to an action being agreed should remain open on the action log until such time as the Board had considered the business in question.

The forward look was reviewed and updates agreed.

Action: Secretariat to update action log and forward look.

2. Business planning workshop feedback

The Board reflected on the business planning workshop that had been held the previous day.

3. Chair’s business

The Board received an update from the Chair on the following matters:

Board Effectiveness Review:

The external review was being tendered, with an expectation of awarding the contract by the end of January 2019. Catharine Seddon had kindly agreed to support the tender evaluation process.

Commissioner appraisals:

Paperwork for Commissioner appraisals had been circulated. One to one appraisal meetings were being scheduled for January/February 2019.

Commissioner appointments

The Chair and Board congratulated Trevor Pearce on his reappointment as Commissioner from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2023. DCMS was due to advertise in January 2019 to appoint two Commissioners.

Sub-committee memberships:

Proposed changes to sub-committee memberships had been circulated to the Board by correspondence. No objections had been raised in response. The changes would take effect from the dates outlined in the correspondence.

Appointment of independent Audit Committee member:

The position had been offered and the Board would be further updated in due course. Thanks were noted to (REDACTED) for her work in support of the process.

Letter from Sue Owen:

The Board noted Sue Owen’s letter dated 18 November 2018 to ALBs concerning her departure from DCMS in early July 2019.

Letter from the Minister, Mims Davies:

The Board noted the Minister’s introductory letter to Bill Moyes dated 29 November 2018.

Board dinner:

The Board agreed that the previous night’s Board dinner had been very successful with the attendance of Anna van der Gaag, who would take up the position of RGSB Chair from 1 April 2019.

4. Changes to Vetting delegations

The Board considered a proposal to amend the delegated authorities for National Lottery 3rd Licence vetting approvals.

The Board approved that the delegations as set out in the paper.

Action: Secretariat to amend Appendix 4 of the Corporate Governance Framework to reflect the change of delegated authorities for National Lottery 3rd Licence vetting approvals.

5. Licensing performance update

The Board considered an update on Licensing performance.

The Board noted:

  • that this was the second update to the Board following the identification, a year ago, of concerns about performance and challenges in the Licensing function
  • that a short-term plan to address the immediate issues had been implemented and reported back to the Board in April 2018
  • that the Board had agreed to undertake a further review at the end of the calendar year, to seek assurance that the improved performance had been sustained
  • that sustained performance had been achieved through embedding the Target Operating Model, separation of the contact centre, streamlining and redesigning process, and creating more decision-making capacity at senior manager level, noting that the development of Management Information had been critical to the process
  • that positive outcomes had included: improved decision-making, collaborative working, process automation, reduced processing time, elimination of backlogs and improved service standards
  • that the licensing team would continue to undertake further improvement work, noting that revised stretch targets would be set in due course
  • that a further update would be provided to the Board in March 2019, noting that the Audit & Risk Committee was scheduled to undertake a deep dive on Licensing in May 2019, to be informed by the March 2019 report to the Board.

The Board extended congratulations to the Licensing team for the good progress and welcomed the ongoing action plan. The Board encouraged the Licensing team to share their experience and lessons learned more widely across the Commission.

6. Raising Standards conference debrief

The Board received a debrief following the Raising Standards conference.

The Board noted that the delegate mix, together with the structure and content of the day, had been well received and seemed to have moved the conversation on in terms of the need for operators to take ownership of responsible gambling.

The Board extended thanks and congratulations to all those who had contributed to making the conference such a success.

7. In-play betting

The Board received a report and presentation on In-play betting, which highlighted in particular:

  • the main characteristics of in-play betting, noting that the increased use of smartphones had opened the market up much more widely to in-play betting, with higher stakes offered
  • that rates of problem gambling were higher for in-play customers compared to other forms of gambling, with the majority of in-play bettors falling into younger age group categories
  • concern around levels of harm, noting that further behavioural insight work was being undertaken.

The Board noted that given the speed of growth and impact on GGY, there was a need to seek wider buy-in from agencies who might be able to target research, noting that this would be a key area for consideration by the RGSB.

8. Potential changes to Regulatory Panels

The Board considered a paper setting out options for the potential reform of Regulatory Panels.

9. Enforcement sanctions

The Board agreed to defer consideration of Enforcement sanctions, pending presentation of a better evidence base to underpin the questions within the paper.

10. Programme and Policy NLCC update: IPA review findings

The Board considered an update on NLCC Policy and Programme.

11. RemCo report & HR review update

The Board received the report from the Remuneration Committee, together with an update on the HR Review from the Director of HR.

The Director or HR presented key highlights from the HR update report, noting in particular the following points:

  • that the report was the output from a three-month review
  • that the current HR Strategy, which was due to expire in March 2019, had been overly ambitious and consequently there were areas that had not been delivered
  • that the implementation of HRIS Sage People would improve core processes and enable efficiencies, as well as enabling the provision of better management information and the aim to streamline and simplify process
  • that progress was being made on the provision of better HR data, noting that a draft dashboard had been demonstrated to the recent RemCo meeting
  • that sickness absence and wellbeing was an area of focus, noting that current sickness absence rates were high
  • that there was recognised to be a need to more proactively manage organisational development
  • that good work had been done to develop apprenticeships, with the Commission being ahead of the curve in taking advantage of the apprenticeship levy
  • that pay and reward remained a priority area
  • that priority areas for improvement had been agreed, and a three year transformation plan had commenced, underpinned by a robust project plan with measurable milestones.

The Board noted:

  • the importance of talent management: the single biggest risk to the organisation was people, noting that a delay in addressing retention risk could result in the loss of good people in the interim. An incremental approach was planned to allow for organisational readiness and system development
  • that it would be important to manage expectations for the HR Transformation programme, noting that the proposals seemed to be ambitious, particularly in terms of the time commitment that would be required of the Executive
  • that one consideration was whether the current HR team had the capacity to achieve the proposed transformational plan.

The Board noted that the staff survey report had been retracted due to the identification of fundamental errors across the whole of the Civil Service. Communication of results to Commission staff had therefore been delayed.

12. Financial report

The Board received an update from the Chief Finance Officer.

13. Review of the meeting

The Board reviewed the meeting and noted:

  • that the agenda overall could have been improved by order of events and better allocation of timing in line with importance of topics. Governance to consider for next agenda
  • that the licensing presentation understated the good work that had been done as it had been overly focused on process rather than impact
  • the paper on Enforcement Sanctions was not Board-ready and could have been better prepared by Executive Group.

14. Any other business

No other business was reported.

15. Assurance statement (AS) workshop session – not minuted

Following the Board meeting, Commissioners participated in an Assurance Statement workshop session.

Is this page useful?
Back to top