Ben Haden added that operator data provided a rich resource that helped them understand the development of the gambling market. It also helps them appreciate the impact of the commission’s interventions on the market in general. Finally, the commission also uses data to ensure it charges the right fees and manages the income properly.
The commission works with a large body of 120 stakeholders in research, gambling, academia, advisory bodies and the third sector. This body assists in closing the knowledge gaps about those who gamble in Great Britain and gambling in general.
There is a Need for More Detailed Operator Data
In May 2023, the intelligence unit of the commission published a report titled ‘Evidence Gaps and Priorities 2023–2026. The report highlighted the need to have operator data that is more detailed. Later, the government white paper emphasised this need by calling for great regulatory oversight on this data.
As such, the UKGC’s intelligence unit plans to prioritise actions that will enhance regulatory returns and pilot a detailed dataset. It intends to revise the regulatory returns to improve UK operators’ datasets. It will do this by removing outdated terms. One of the interventions it considers is changing the reporting frequency from annually to quarterly. It will consult with the stakeholders in November of this year.
Benefits of Dataset Pilot
The dataset pilot will enable the commission to collect aggregated consumer data on a daily basis. The pilot datasets will assist the commission in understanding the effect that policy changes have on the industry, as the Gambling Act review demands. The evidence it gathers from these two projects will combine with existing consumer surveys and other data assets to give the commission a more comprehensive view of the current makeup of online casinos and the gambling marketplace as a whole.
Haden says that the data will go a long way towards evaluating the impact of the policy changes. Besides, it will give the commission early indications of impact to determine if it needs to take a different action. This will also reduce the number of ad-hoc requests it receives from operators resulting from the policy changes. Finally, with better datasets and the best evidence, the commission will ensure better regulation.