PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS - PAUL NEWSON

PRESIDENT’S COMMENTS - PAUL NEWSON

By IAGR Media

It’s encouraging to see a gradual drawdown of COVID related restrictions in many jurisdictions and the accompanying move, even tentative, towards normalcy. Unfortunately, ongoing concerns and uncertainty around public health risks as well as indefinite restrictions on international travel meant that rescheduling IAGR’s 2020 conference, while profoundly disappointing, was the responsible and appropriate decision.

I am pleased to say that following careful consideration and discussions with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission and the International Masters of Gaming Law, as well as much assistance from the Marriott, we were able to secure 12 – 17 September 2021 for Disrupting the Regulator: Sparking innovation in regulatory practice.

With the annual calendar increasingly crowded with international gambling conferences, it is difficult to deconflict every event which is unfortunate, however, we are confident IAGR's conference is unrivalled because of its compelling program and it's the principal event where you can interact, connect and build relationships with global leaders in gambling regulation as well as senior industry leaders and stakeholders. 

We will be liaising with each of our speakers over coming weeks to ensure availability for our rescheduled conference and we will be asking everyone to consider the significance of COVID and its impact on industry and ways of working. We think it is essential that we capture lessons from the disruption and showcase where innovation has accelerated, or new ways of working have developed that advance efficient and effective regulation and support secure, vibrant, innovative, safe and responsible industry.

Boston is an immensley popular destination and many conferences have been rescheduled, so while early, accommodation bookings for the Boston Marriott Copley Place are now open. For more information about Disrupting the Regulator: Sparking innovation in regulatory practice or to book your accommodation, go to iagr2021.com

We are in the process of refreshing IAGR’s committee structure and following discussions at our February board meeting in London, we resolved to acknowledge the tremendous work of the legacy committees and work towards a refreshed fit for purpose structure that can best engage expertise from our members and bolster international collaboration on key contemporary regulatory themes. The revised structure includes Standing Sub-Committees and Special Purpose Sub-Committees.

IAGR Standing Sub-Committees are:

  • Statistics Sub-Committee – Chair James Green
  • Membership Sub-Committee – Chair Steven Ngubeni
  • Conference Sub-Committee – Chair Mabutho Zwane
  • Communications Sub-Committee – Chair Paul Newson

IAGR Special Purpose Sub-Committees are:

  • Responsible Gambling (including Problem Gambling Help Services) – Chair TBC
  • Compliance & Enforcement – Chair TBC

Additional Special Purpose Sub-Committees will be activated as required and may include:

  • Licensing
  • Intelligence
  • Regulatory Innovation
  • Regulatory Policy

 

We also discussed a range of other initiatives as part of our strategic planning, however, our capacity to act on one or more substantial programs is largely reliant on reforming our revenue model, continuing to grow membership penetration internationally and building member engagement. An initiative that we can act on immediately that received overwhelming support was for IAGR to establish regulatory awards as part of its annual conference and gala dinner. This is an exciting opportunity to showcase the achievements of global regulators and recognise and reward exceptional outcomes as well as significant contributions to advancing IAGR’s mission. We will share more information about this proposal as the details are progressed in coming months.

We are in the process of transitioning our membership registration system to an online product Wild Apricot. The move to online management will achieve efficiencies as we dispense with cumbersome paperwork and enable simple and quick online member applications and renewals. While we are in the process of transitioning, regrettably it may be necessary to issue manual renewals for 2020, and move to the online system for 2021, however, we will clarify this shortly.

Unfortunately, the five-day gambling regulatory program to be delivered by the International Center for Gaming Regulation in Sydney, Australia in August coinciding with the Australasian Gaming Expo, has also been rescheduled to August 2021. While COVID has delayed this prestigious program, I’m thrilled to announce that in addition to expert faculty from ICGR, the program will include a range of experts on regulatory intelligence, forensics and investigative practice and anti-money laundering as well as leading gambling lawyers. More information about the program is available at regulatingthegame.com

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

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