IAGR PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS - PAUL NEWSON

IAGR PRESIDENT'S COMMENTS - PAUL NEWSON

By IAGR Media

As September approaches we are reminded that IAGR’s annual conference Disrupting the Regulator: Sparking innovation in regulatory practice, has been rescheduled to 12 – 17 September 2021. While we will have to wait another 12 months to immerse in Boston and experience the wider New England region, trustees have been considering whether to conduct an online event.

As many in-person conferences have been delayed or cancelled, we recognise there is a saturation of online events competing for attention and we are reluctant to offer an online conference amongst this crowded space. We also recognise that IAGR’s positioning as the international regulatory association is unique. Our capacity to leverage senior regulatory leaders globally and provide a mechanism to share insights and help inform and shape regulatory policy and practice, distinguishes IAGR membership and events.   

While we aren’t inclined to host a comprehensive online conference, we have decided to conduct a number of targeted webinar style events and will be liaising with some key speakers in coming weeks. Considering the pervasive impact of COVID-19 on gambling, entertainment and hospitality at large, we are interested in exploring emerging insights about what it all means for regulators and industry into the future. If you have any topics of particular interest, please contact the secretariat with your ideas.

Landmark disciplinary complaints against licensees and close associates of two New South Wales (NSW), Australia hotels and one registered club were determined by the NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority in July 2020. The complaints alleged inter alia conduct that encouraged, or was likely to encourage, the misuse and abuse of gambling activities. The findings in each matter are set out in detail in the respective decision documents and traverse important issues including the use of VIP Rewards Programs and offering inducements to gamble such as alcohol.

These were important investigations to uncover misconduct that risks aggravating gambling harm and undermining industry integrity and community confidence. While the costs of Liquor & Gaming NSW’s investigations were recovered, at least in part, the penalties awarded were modest.

Robust public denouncement of misconduct and serious penalties, such as we have seen in other regulatory regimes e.g. anti-money laundering contraventions, are fundamental to disincentivise wrongdoing and ensure accountability and public confidence. For a more complete view access the decision documents at:

 

I am thrilled to share that trustees have resolved that IAGR will host its inaugural International Regulatory Awards in conjunction with its Disrupting the Regulator conference in Boston 12 – 17 September 2021.

While the overall concept is taking shape, we will be further developing details of the program including award categories, nomination process, voting and prizes. We are really excited about introducing regulatory awards to recognise and celebrate excellence and leadership in international gambling regulation. More details about this exciting initiative will be released in coming months.

I can also share that the Board of Trustees has elected Dr Jason Lane, Chief Executive of the Jersey Gambling Commission, as Vice President designate. Jason will take up the role following IAGR’s annual business meeting in October 2020.

There are some additional initiatives I think we should investigate. Firstly, while dependant on resolving our funding model going forward, establishing an Executive Director role, would provide much needed capacity to deliver IAGR’s strategic direction as well as manage day to day operations. Secondly, short-term secondments of suitably qualified public policy and regulatory staff from gambling regulators, to bolster IAGR’s capacity to advance its mission. Finally, a renewed focus on building partnerships to leverage like-minded organisations and extend our reach and influence in advancing best practice gambling regulation globally.

2020 has been beset by public health and economic crisis and has been an awfully unsettling year. While we are unlikely to meet in-person this year and we are each navigating additional challenges in our work and personal lives, I encourage you to share your thoughts and ideas and help shape our agenda.

Please send any submissions on these issues or related policy matters about IAGR sponsorship, membership types and revenue model canvassed last issue to iagr@iagr.org and feel free to contact me directly to discuss.

I look forward to hearing from you and meeting again soon. 

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