UKGC Highlights Importance of Operator Data in Achieving Evidence-Led Regulation October 10, 2023 Mike Ashley

UKGC Highlights Importance of Operator Data in Achieving Evidence-Led Regulation

UK Gambling CommissionSummary:

  • The UKGC says operator data help fill knowledge gaps related to gambling
  • The Commission will initiate two projects this year aimed at collecting more detailed operator data
  • The data will help the agency understand market developments and the impact of policy changes

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced two projects aimed at gathering more detailed operator data as part of its approach to evidence-based regulation.

In a new blog post on the Commission’s website, Ben Haden, the UKGC’s Programme Director of Insights and Engagement, stresses the importance of operator data in getting a deeper understanding of how the market is developing and assessing the impact of policy changes arising from the Gambling Act Review.

Two Projects to Enhance Operator Datasets

The UKGC recognizes the vital role that operator data play in closing knowledge gaps related to gambling, something that the regulator identified as a key part of the wider evidence ecosystem in its Evidence Gaps and Priorities 2023 to 2026 publication back in May.

In the Commission’s latest blog post, Haden revealed that they are embarking on two new projects over the next six months focusing on collecting operator data. The regulator is taking this step based on feedback and inputs from over 120 stakeholders from the gambling industry, research, academia, the third sector, and the UKGC’s own advisory bodies during a gathering in March this year.

The first action point relates to “regulatory returns” which refer to the primary information that operators are required to provide to the UKGC as part of their licence. The Commission plans to increase the frequency of provision of basic operator data, from annual to quarterly. The agency is expected to launch a consultation on this area by November. The regulator also acknowledges that some items in the existing dataset are already obsolete and must be removed.

The second action point involves a pilot project that will enable the UKGC to get a “more detailed dataset” from operators. Pilot participants will be asked to provide daily aggregated consumer data to the Commission. By this, the regulator means that operators will supply information relating to the total number of consumer transactions each day, not for each individual transaction.

UKGC Continues to Work Towards Evidence-based Regulation

Such data will help the UKGC in its assessment of the impact of new measures set out in the White Paper. The main goal of the Commission is to get early indications of the impact so it can take action accordingly.

Operator data, combined with consumer surveys and other available datasets, will provide better evidence which will lead to better regulation, Haden concludes.

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