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  4. Reflecting our international collaboration – IAGR conference 2022

Reflecting our international collaboration – IAGR conference 2022

Posted 15 December 2022 by Ben Haden


My colleague Jamie Wall recently wrote a blog about the work that we are doing here at the Commission developing our global role, including collaborating with our international colleagues.

Ben Haden delivering a speech at the IAGR 2022 conference in Melbourne

One of the ways we do this is to engage with international regulatory bodies like the Gambling Regulators European Forum (GREF) (opens in new tab) and the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) (opens in new tab) – at all levels across our organisation, considering operational as well as strategic questions.

My part in this includes working as a trustee on the IAGR board. Currently I am Vice-President and one of my tasks is organising the annual conference, leading the mix of IAGR and host jurisdiction teams to deliver the programme. Doing this from a distance of thousands of miles from the venue in Melbourne this year had its moments and meant a lot of late night and early morning meetings given the different time zones. We were lucky to have great hosts at the Victoria Gambling and Casino Control Commission.

Melbourne 2022

Over 240 people came to the event in Melbourne and listened to over 40 speakers (opens in new tab) across four days. After the trials of the pandemic, being able to meet face-to-face enabled fuller conversations and meant that various excellent debates flowed throughout the event. There is a real joy to meeting so many people from around the world all in one place to discuss the same topic, with so many diverse cultural approaches to the same challenges and opportunities.

It wasn’t just regulators that were there – industry, researchers, tech specialists and a range of gambling sector advisers also attended. I think this makes for a much richer conversation on the various sessions we all listened to.

One of the particular benefits this time was being able to hear from, and talk to, the wide range of regulatory and research expertise and experience in Australia, including the interesting approach that some territories are taking to de-couple advertising and gambling. Everyone was also very engaged in understanding how Ontario in Canada is faring as their market continues to open up. There is so much to appreciate regardless of what level of maturity a jurisdiction is at.

Looking ahead to IAGR 2023

IAGR 2023 will be held in Botswana next October and we look forward to a similarly expansive programme and range of attendees. IAGR will be looking for speakers early in the new year – perhaps you’d like to come and share your experience and views with us this time, do contact me if you are interested – the conference will be richer for it.

About the author

Ben Haden is the Gambling Commission’s Director of Research and Statistics. He is also the current Vice-President of IAGR.

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