UK gambling commission chief tim miller

Executive director of the UK Gambling Commission, Tim Miller, has warned of the dangers of internationalisation in the gambling industry, saying it “heightens old risks and brings with it new challenges as well”.

He spoke at the International Association of Gambling Regulators (IAGR) conference in Boston, cautioning that the worldwide growth of the gambling industry is developing into a situation where the industry is growing at a faster pace than regulators can handle, an issue the technology industry knows all too well.

Mr Miller cited the UK market as an example, saying it has become a £14.1 billion (€16.5 billion) industry by Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR), whereas the regulator’s budget stands at £18 million (€21.1 million) per year.

In his address, Mr 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.”

He further cited the growth of operators outside of a regulator’s jurisdiction, claiming it has become problematic for regulators to oversee a company in one jurisdiction when it continues to expand into other areas.

“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 does 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.”

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