Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, gave a key note speech to the conference delegates.
He opened by focusing on the decline in consumer confidence in the industry and continuing failures to address problem gambling, calling on operators to seek to address such issues: “Some commentators have suggested that 340,000 problem gamblers is a glass floor that can’t be broken through…If you think that you cannot reduce the numbers of people experiencing gambling related harm, I think you’re in the wrong job. There is a saying: if you believe you cannot do something, you’re right…Your mindset is wrong and that self-limiting belief means that you are going to struggle to make progress, and if you cannot change your mindset you need to go and do something else and make way for other people.”
He also touched on some of the progressive steps taken within the sector for the benefit of consumers, before moving on to outline four recently launched Commission initiatives aimed at delivering “real and rapid change” for consumers. These are: (i) the production of an ‘Industry Code for Game Design’ setting out techniques that the industry plans to use for online product design, the associated risks and how to mitigate these; (ii) the development of a code of conduct in respect of VIP players; (iii) exploring how operators can make better use of ad tech to pro-actively target adverts away from children, young people and vulnerable adults; and (iv) the Commission’s push for a “single customer view”.