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Annual Report and Accounts 2022 to 2023

The Gambling Commission's 2022 to 2023 Annual Report and Accounts. For the period 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023.

  1. Contents
  2. Governance statement for the year ended 31 March 2023

Governance statement for the year ended 31 March 2023

This section sets out the internal control and risk management systems in place within the Gambling Commission, and the structures in place to review the efficacy of those systems.

Governance framework

The Commission has complied with government guidance for corporate governance in arm’s length bodies. These requirements are primarily codified in the framework agreement with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which is currently under review by DCMS, and the Commission’s governance framework.

The Commission meets the requirements of government guidance for corporate governance by:

  • setting out and publishing a governance framework
  • ensuring decisions are supported by effective papers and recorded in minutes
  • provision of core reporting to Board, Executive Team and other committees on a regular rhythm, including financial and operational performance and risk
  • annual effectiveness reviews of the Board and committees
  • maintaining skills analysis and succession plans to inform Commissioner recruitment to support the public appointments process to ensure a strong mix of knowledge and experience at board level
  • managing an up to date declarations of interest register and ensuring interests are managed appropriately.

The Commission’s governance framework, including a scheme of delegations (general, financial and regulatory), code of conduct, anti-fraud and corruption, complaint and public interest disclosure policies is published in Appendix 4 of the Corporate Governance Framework. Compliance with the requirements of the framework, and its effectiveness, is reviewed annually in a Board Effectiveness Review (BER).

In 2022 to 2023 Board effectiveness was reviewed by an external organisation, testing the Commission against the Cabinet Office guidance Board effectiveness reviews: principles and resources for arm’s-length bodies and sponsoring departments (opens in new tab). The review tested Board effectiveness against ten indicators, finding five areas effective or partially effective, five areas in need of improvement, and no areas of gaps.

The areas in need of improvement covered the operationalisation of the corporate strategy, stakeholder communications, culture, board information (primarily relating to the timing of meetings, the length of papers, and performance reporting packs) and diversity.

An action plan to address the recommendations in the report has been approved by the Board and is in the process of implementation. A workshop has already taken place addressing some of the issues of culture and communication highlighted in the report. Action to enhance diversity has been embedded in the recent recruitment process for new Commissioners.

Decision-making and scrutiny

The Board of Commissioners, led by the Chair, Marcus Boyle, oversees the business of the Commission. The day-to-day activity of the Commission is managed by the leadership team, led by me as Chief Executive and Accounting Officer.

Commissioners are responsible for the strategic direction of the organisation and oversee delivery of the Commission’s business plan.

Meetings of the Board of Commissioners are governed by the Rules for the conduct of business and provide the opportunity for robust and constructive challenge and debate amongst board members and senior management.

Discussions and decisions at Board (and Committee or Executive Team) are almost always supported by written papers. All Board, Committee and Executive Team meetings are minuted, and actions and decisions are logged and tracked.

During the year, a significant amount of time in formal board meetings was focused on developing the Commission’s advice to the Secretary of State in relation to the Gambling Act Review, the award and implementation of the Fourth National Lottery Licence, and enhancing the Commission’s performance against strategic objectives.

The Board also commissioned the creation of a new Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for the Commission, and, following the closure of the Finance and Performance Committee, focused on financial performance and the development of the business plan for 2023 to 2024. The Board have also created several sub-committees of Commissioners and, in some cases, Commission employees, to undertake more detailed scrutiny or to make delegate decisions. The membership and remit of these committees are outlined as follows. Commissioners also retain direct responsibility for some regulatory decisions through the regulatory panel process.

The Commission has an induction and development process in place for Commissioners to ensure they are aware of and able to exercise their responsibilities. New Commissioners receive an extensive programme of training to ensure a solid foundation of knowledge about consumer issues in gambling and the operating environment and diversity of the sector. Existing Commissioners receive regular written briefings, training and other developmental activity.

The Commission undertakes skills analysis to inform succession planning, which supports DCMS’s recruitment of Commissioners with appropriate and relevant skills.

Committees and sub committees


Chair: Marcus Boyle.

Senior Independent Director: Catharine Seddon.

Members of the Board:

  • John Baillie
  • Carol Brady
  • Stephen Cohen
  • Trevor Pearce
  • David Rossington
  • Andrew Rhodes (from 4 July 2023).

Advisory Groups

Advisory Board for Safer Gambling.

Digital Advisory Panel.

Lived Experience Advisory Panel.

Audit and Risk Committee

Chair: John Baillie.


  • Trevor Pearce
  • David Rossington.

Independent member: Chris Andrew.

Remit: assurance of financial and risk management processes and structures, including engagement with internal and external audit.

Remuneration and Nominations Committee

Chair: Trevor Pearce.


  • Carol Brady
  • Catharine Seddon.

Remit: oversight of executive level recruitment remuneration, performance management processes, board effectiveness and Commissioner recruitment (via Department for Culture Media and Sport).

National Lottery Committee

Chair: Trevor Pearce.

Members: Sarah Gardner.

Independent member: vacant.

Remit: oversight of the Commission’s management of the licensee of the 3rd licence.

National Lottery Competition Committee

Chair: Stephen Cohen.


  • John Baillie
  • Carol Brady
  • David Rossington
  • Catharine Seddon
  • John Tanner.

Independent member: previously David Rossington.

Remit: programme board for the 4th National Lottery Licence competition through to implementation.

Regulatory Panel

Not a standing committee.

Remit: convened to make regulatory decisions in respect of operator and personal licenses, and enforcement action.

Audit and Risk Committee

The Audit and Risk Committee (ARC) supports the Board and the Accounting Officer in their responsibilities by monitoring the integrity of the Commission’s annual statutory financial statements, reviewing the Commission’s governance, internal control and risk management systems, and by reviewing the internal and external audit services.

In 2022 to 2023 the ARC focused particularly on the Commission’s processes for horizon scanning and recognising emerging risks, and the risks associated with the Fourth National Lottery Licence competition.

In addition to Commissioners, ARC also has an independent member, Chris Andrew, who was appointed on 2 January 2019.

Finance and Performance Committee

The Finance and Performance Committee was established in May 2020 and disbanded in October 2022.

The Committee had a role in scrutinising the business plan and budget, and organisational performance monitoring. This responsibility has returned directly to the Board.

Remuneration and Nomination Committee

The Remuneration and Nomination Committee supports the Board and Accounting Officer in their responsibilities for remuneration and performance management, senior appointments and succession planning.

In 2022 to 2023 the Remuneration and Nomination Committee were particularly involved in the scoping of the Board Effectiveness Review and the skills analysis informing Commissioner recruitment.

National Lottery Committee

The National Lottery Committee advises the Board and the Chief Executive in relation to the exercise of certain Commission functions under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993 (opens in new tab). The Committee has decision making powers in a number of areas delegated to it by the Board. A significant part of the Committee’s business is engagement with and review of the National Lottery operator’s strategy and performance.

In 2022 to 2023 the Committee’s main focus was the management of end of licence risks.

National Lottery Competition Committee

The National Lottery Competition Committee advises the Board and the Chief Executive in respect of the National Lottery Fourth Licence competition, and through oversight of the process of the competition. The Committee has decision making powers in a number of areas delegated to it by the Board. As well as Commissioners, the Committee also had an independent member, David Rossington, until he was appointed as Commissioner in January 2023. The Senior Responsible Officer for the competition, John Tanner, has also been a member of the Committee since November 2019.

The Committee has focused its work on transition, oversight of ongoing litigation and stakeholder management.

Regulatory Panel

The Regulatory Panel determines some licence applications and deals with significant regulatory decisions which may include the revocation of licences. The Regulatory Panel sat on three separate occasions during 2022 to 2023, with each case requiring two or three Commissioners to attend for a full day hearing in addition to substantial preparation and review time.

The Executive Team

The Executive Team leads the management of the Commission, making decisions about projects, policy, procedure, issues and cases which cannot be resolved at an operational level as they are novel or contentious, or significantly affect the Commission’s finances or staff.

The scope of the Executive Team therefore extends to:

  • strategic leadership of the Commission
  • collective concentration on strategic issues affecting the Commission
  • scrutiny and challenge of Commission policies and procedure
  • review of business delivery, operational and financial performance.

The Executive Team also agrees items for escalation to the Board of Commissioners and clearing Board papers.

The Commission draws on other areas of specialist knowledge by retaining three advisory boards. Members of these boards do not have any delegated powers, but provide advice to inform Commission policy-making and practice. Members of advisory boards are bound by their codes of conduct and the Commission’s Managing Conflicts of Interest Policy.

Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG)

The ABSG provides independent advice to the Commission on issues related to safer gambling and prevention of harms to inform regulation. The ABSG is chaired by Dr Anna van der Gaag CBE.

Digital Advisory Panel (DAP)

The DAP comprises experts from the digital sector, including specialists in networks, retail and logistics. The DAP provides the Commission with advice on matters regarding technology, digital trends and the implications for the Commission as a regulator. The DAP is chaired by Andy Payne.

Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP)

LEAP provides advice drawn from their personal lived experience of gambling harms.

Senior Independent Director

The Senior Independent Director holds an important role within the governance structure. Consistent with the UK Corporate Governance Code and with Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) guidance, the Board has appointed a Senior Independent Director (SID) from among its current members.

The role of the SID is to provide a Board-level lead for high standards of governance, act as a sounding-board for the Chair and act as a route to resolve any concerns about the operation of the Board.

Catharine Seddon is the SID for the the Commission.

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