Making better use of operator data
Operator data is a rich resource in terms of ensuring how we understand how the market is developing, appreciate how interventions we make are (or aren’t) having an impact and at a fundamental level ensure we charge the right fees and can forecast and manage income and finances.
Posted 6 October 2023 by Ben Haden
In March this year we gathered over 120 of the leading stakeholders from research, academia, industry, our own advisory bodies and the third sector to discuss how we can help close the gaps in the knowledge we all have about gambling and those who gamble in Great Britain.
One of the key topics discussed in sessions and in breaks was the opportunity that operator data provides to fill those gaps – I had attendees across the full spectrum of stakeholders talking to me positively about the opportunity which was really encouraging.
We talked about our need for more detailed operator data again in our Evidence gaps and priorities 2023 to 2026 publication in May and the future importance of access to data was made clear as part of the Government’s White Paper too.
We are going to do two things over the next six months to start taking these aspirations forward.
The first relates to regulatory returns, the basic information that operators provide to the Commission as part of their licence.
Before the pandemic we had engaged with industry on the current dataset and the frequency of provision. We think that we can sharpen that dataset and remove a significant number of items which are out of date or not useful. We also think that we will need to increase frequency for many licensees, from annual to quarterly and align reporting dates – this reflects our business need to be more timely in appreciating changes in the market and managing our income. We’re keen to do that as soon as we can but will consult on the frequency point in November.
The next item is a pilot to receive a more detailed dataset from operators – daily aggregated consumer data, so not each transaction but those totalled over each day.
We think data like this will really help us understand the impact of policy changes, in particular as a result of the Gambling Act Review. When we evaluate, we want to be able to get early indications of impact, where we may need to take different action as a result. It may also mean less ad-hoc requests from operators in relation to each change.
When we start to triangulate this with our consumer surveys and other available datasets we will have much more informed perspective overall. It is just a pilot at this stage, so we will see how it goes and the value it actually brings before pushing out more widely. If any operators are interested in being part of the pilot it would be great to hear from you1 – we’d like a small number of differing size to begin with.
These two projects are just the start of looking to extract more value from operator data, as well as other datasets but it’s an exciting part of our drive to use the best evidence we can in our work. And better evidence driven by better data, will lead to better regulation.
1 If interested, please contact us via email@example.com