GC director warns of dangers of internationalisation for regulators

Speaking at the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) conference, Miller spoke of how the worldwide growth of the gambling industry “heightens old challenges and brings with it new risks as well”.

One issue highlighted by Miller was the growth of the industry happening at a faster rate than regulators can handle. He cited the UK market as an example whereby gambling is a £14.1bn industry by Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), whereas the regulator’s budget stands at £18m per year.

Miller said: “Whilst I’m not suggesting that a regulator needs to match the resources of the regulated we at least need to be properly equipped to keep pace with the speed at which the industry is innovating and evolving.

“The emergence of a number of international gambling giants, with the resources to bring time consuming and expensive legal challenges to regulators across multiple jurisdictions, shows just how much internationalisation could disrupt our work.”

The expansion of operators outside of their jurisdictions was also mentioned as a problem for operators, as Miller suggested it is difficult for regulators to oversee a company in one place when it continues to branch out into other areas.

Furthermore, Miller believes that the different gambling cultures of various jurisdictions mean different approaches to regulation – thus making it more difficult to find a uniform approach and “meet the expectations and requirements of all jurisdictions”.

Miller added: “Internationalisation isn’t going away. It heightens and evolves old risks for regulators and it also brings about new challenges as well. But as is often the case, the answer to the risks and harms that come with internationalisation, do not lie in trying to claw our way back to a simpler time. They lie in being even more open to the change and from embracing the opportunities that come with such an attitude.

“Let’s continue to work together, to collaborate and to make gambling fairer and safer for all. We at the Gambling Commission are ready to take the next step and I am sure we are not alone in that.”

Miller also took the time to mention the impact of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

A survey conducted by the Gambling Commission highlighted the change in betting habits during the pandemic, such as the increased popularity of esports.

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