UKGC Director Says Global Collaboration Vital for Regulators to Combat Illegal Gambling

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In a speech delivered at the Global Gaming Expo on October 10, Tim Miller, the executive director of the UK Gambling Commission, highlighted the crucial need for international cooperation among gambling regulators and said the UKGC is finalising several Memoranda of Understanding with US regulators to advance these efforts.

Miller emphasised that such collaboration on a global scale would bolster their collective impact and create a safer environment for customers by eliminating illegal gambling. The focus on customer protection was a significant driving force behind the UK’s Gambling Act review white paper, which was released in April this year.

Miller stated: “The collective voice of gambling regulators across the globe pressuring big tech companies, banks, and even some other jurisdictions to address the role they play in facilitating illegal gambling will be much harder to ignore.”

He emphasised that working together to make gambling safer, fairer and free from criminal involvement was a central objective of the UK government’s Gambling Act Review white paper. Following the release of the white paper, Miller noted that the Gambling Commission would have limited scope to consider policies not included in the white paper in the coming years.

The white paper presented over 60 recommendations for the industry, and the first round of consultations, which began in July, is set to close on October 18. These consultations revolve around topics such as financial risk and vulnerability, online game design, consumer choice in direct marketing and enhancing age verification in land-based premises.

Miller stressed that regulations significantly vary by jurisdiction, making it possible for an operator to be legal in one market while being illegal in another. The more gambling regulators understand each other’s rules, standards and markets, the more they can share information and best practices to increase their effectiveness.

This collaboration, Miller noted, would make it harder for uncooperative operators to circumvent regulations and would make it more likely they face difficult questions in their home jurisdiction if they act poorly elsewhere.

Miller also remarked on the success the Gambling Commission has had in the last year through collaborations with industry tools and services to combat illegal gambling. This cooperation resulted in a substantial reduction in traffic to the largest illegal sites targeting the British market. Miller emphasised the importance of such joint efforts with payment providers, internet search providers and product and games developers.

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