February 7, 2023 3 min read


UKGC Boss Supports the Preservation of Fair Gambling Standards

UKGC executive director Tim Miller thinks Britain should preserve its status as a global leader in fair gambling in spite of illegal options

The executive director held his speech during the ICE World Regulatory Briefing. Miller took the opportunity to issue a warning regarding the existence of illegal betting options while emphasizing the need to protect Britain’s regulated gambling market. 

“Gambling Today Is in Many Ways a Global Tech Industry”

Miller, who is responsible for research and statistics, policy development, and the national strategy for reducing gambling harms, expressed the commission’s view on today’s gambling industry. He explained what the new changes represent for gambling regulators. Calling today’s gambling “a Global Tech Industry,” Miller touched on the topic of the way large gambling organizations currently operate in the industry. 

He mentioned the advanced research and development adopted by these companies, along with their ongoing efforts to create innovative products and the expansion of their digital and multinational operations. Together, all these transformations look and feel “more like international ‘Big Tech’”, said Miller, comparing gambling companies’ operations from two decades ago. 

The changes are also influencing consumers’ experiences as well as the way regulatory bodies need to do their jobs, added the executive. Alongside the highly competitive markets found in numerous jurisdictions, the new state of things is currently triggering a number of trends that were flagged by the Commission during the ICE event.

Blurred Boundaries, Mergers and Acquisitions Cost More to Investigate 

One of the first trends discussed by Miller referred to the ongoing, fast-paced, “multi-layered” mergers and acquisitions in Great Britain. These operations helped the top three gaming operators here reach a market share of around 50% in the past five years. 

At the same time, the top 10 operators represent 77% of the total business-to-consumer gross gambling yield. Miller explained that the complexity of these mergers and acquisitions is forcing investigators to spend more resources to investigate wrongdoings. 

Miller spoke about fresh and innovative products like cryptocurrencies, synthetic shares, and non-fungible tokens that continue to be hard to define and regulate. While used by gambling companies to reach new audiences, these products are also targeted by people “looking to make money around the edges of regulated gambling.”

The Need for Global Collaboration Between Regulators 

The matter of illegal online gambling with an emphasis on “not on Gamstop” websites that target individuals who have self-excluded from gambling was also raised by Miller. Similar to other regulators in the industry, the UKGC continues to direct additional resources to combat this particular problem and disrupt illegal sites. At the same time, the UKGC is partnering up with other regulators while asking jurisdictions that host and license illegal platforms to stop.

Miller reiterated the idea that simply because illegal online options continue to exist should not force the regulated gambling industry in Britain to be subject to “lower, less fair, or less safe standards.”

Thanks to the strong bonds created between worldwide regulators, there is an increase in the number of discussions regarding bad practices and bad behaviors of some operators. In turn, this continues to help the UKGC keep an eye on the respective operators in their own jurisdictions.

Miller added that all regulatory bodies should keep making efforts to drive standards up while offering consumers a safe, top-quality experience.

In January, the UKGC fined TonyBet over anti-money laundering and social responsibility breaches. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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