We were all delighted with our first gambling seminar and networking event, held at the iconic Hippodrome Casino Theatre on Monday 6 June 2016. Eighty delegates from a broad spectrum of gambling operators and regulators attended. We should like to thank Rob Burkitt from the Gambling Commission, Kerry Simpkin from Westminster City Council and Sheila Roberts from London Borough of Newham Council for preparing and delivering such interesting presentations.
Please see the link below to the biographies of the speakers, the agenda for the day and each of the presentations.
There were some very interesting discussion points raised as a result of the subject matters covered.
Andy Woods highlighted the change in focus from the early years following the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005 to the present day, and this was confirmed by Rob Burkitt in his presentation. There is clearly a move towards placing the onus on the gambling industry to modernise and to improve self-regulation, compliance and best practice.
Andy also emphasised that there is a greater focus on regulatory control and that the Gambling Commission are using more of their enforcement powers than they had previously.
One of the key issues raised was the closer control and monitoring of personal licence holders. Andy stressed that, after the introduction of the Gambling Act, enforcement and control had focussed on operating licence reviews. However, the industry needs to be aware that there will be more interaction with personal licence holders moving forward.
Rob Burkitt from the Gambling Commission touched on this too, and highlighted the Gambling Commission’s position on Personal Management Licences (PMLs).
He pinpointed the following:-
Para 4.3 of the Gambling Commission’s Statement of Principles (please click on the link http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/pdf/statement-of-principles-for-licensing-and-regulation.pdf)
The Commission expects those occupying senior positions, whether or not they hold Personal Management Licences, to uphold the licensing objectives and to ensure the compliance of operators with the LCCP.
In particular, the Commission expects operators to:
- organise and control their affairs responsibly and effectively
- have adequate systems and controls to keep gambling fair and safe
- conduct their businesses with integrity
- act with due care, skill and diligence
- maintain adequate financial resources
- have due regard to the interested customers and treat them fairly
- have due regard to the information needs of customers and communicate with them in a way that is clear, not misleading, and allows them to make an informed judgement about whether to gamble
- manage conflicts of interest fairly
- disclose to the commission anything which the commission would reasonably expect to know
- work with the commission in an open and co-operative way
Anna Mathias’s Update on Current Developments and her Lotteries Update were particularly well received by delegates, as we learnt from the feedback received, and there were interesting discussion points raised in relation to the increase in the control and regulation of money laundering and the processing of cash transactions.
Kerry Simpkin’s presentation was thought-provoking and centred around the work that Westminster Council have been doing surrounding the potential areas of impact on vulnerable people by the activities of gambling premises. The fact that local authorities are potentially going to have greater control of the issue of premises licences was emphasised also in Sheila Roberts’s presentation about the challenges posed to a regulator in such a diverse Borough as Newham.
Clearly, local authorities’ statements of licensing principles and special consideration areas are going to be key when the powers are full understood by councils. Paddy Whur commented on the political dynamic at hearings before licensing sub-committees under the Gambling Act. He stressed that it will be very interesting to see how close these special consideration areas come to cumulative impact policies in licensing policies created under the Licensing Act 2003.
Anna also raised the issue of dementia training which is, again, something which is going to become far more topical in the coming years. Andy Woods pointed out to the operators in the room that the enhanced requirements placed on them will mean that the training of staff is going to be critically important in the future.
We were delighted with the interaction with the audience and the feedback we have received since the event. If there are any specific questions that those who attended, or who have received the slides, wish to be answered, then please do not hesitate to contact us.
Some of the feedback received:
“I thought that the seminar itself was very good and clearly well put together and delivered.” Operator
“I wanted to commend you all on a fantastic and worthwhile event.” Gamcare
“Fantastic event. Great content and ran to timings. Just the right amount of information.” Consultant
“Really useful to be able to attend such a wide ranging seminar. Looking forward to next year.” Local Authority