“The consensus has been that Regulating the Game London’s program and the caliber of speakers were exceptional”

Already established in Sydney, the Regulating the Game conference took place in London on September 25-29 for the first time ever. Described as a 5-day immersive program that focuses on leading-edge research, regulatory policy and practice, and ethical leadership in the gambling sector, the conference garnered a lot of support across the industry. 

Following the conclusion of the event, Yogonet held an exclusive interview with Paul Newson, Director of Regulating the Game, who shared feedback on the conference’s inaugural event as well as insights into the upcoming Sydney edition.

The much-anticipated Regulating the Game London just recently concluded. Could you share your key takeaways from this inaugural edition?

It was a big intense week packed with expert content and leading regulatory and industry speakers, distinguished guest speakers as well and our first-ever Pitch! event.

We are thrilled and grateful that the conference attracted such accomplished regulatory and sector leaders. We especially want to thank Cathy Judd-Stein, Chair of the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, and Earle G. Hall, President and CEO of AXES.ai for traveling from the United States to speak in person at the London conference.

A striking session and one of many highlights from the conference was the gambling harm lived experience panel discussion. This was an immersive raw discussion and so meaningful to listen to Paul Buck as he shared his story including his arrest and incarceration for stealing money to fund his gambling addiction.

Despite nearly losing everything and the torment of being in prison, it was an uplifting story because he recovered and has built an amazing organization Epic Risk Management that now works to prevent gambling harm unlike some activist organisations, he brings an informed and measured lens to public policy discourse.

There were so many fascinating sessions and the discussion was enriched by the mix of industry and regulators such as the Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, Zimbabwe Lotteries and Gaming Board, Cyprus Gaming + Casino Supervision Commission and the Gambling Division, H.M. Government of Gibraltar.

Paul Newson

What was the feedback you received from attendees, speakers, and exhibitors at the conference? Do you anticipate the return of the conference to London next year?

Feedback about the program and the expertise of the speakers has been tremendous with one attendee remarking that the level of debate, discussion, and depth was incredible. The overwhelming consensus has been that the professionalism of the event, the structure and coverage of the program, and the caliber of speakers were exceptional.

The substance of the program is critical, but we also focus on creating plenty of networking opportunities and building some entertaining social events. We had Chris Fleming, a highly sought-after London-based magician and mind reader, astonish guests at the conference welcome reception, and the conference App facilitates attendees connecting and interacting.

We have been encouraged to return with Regulating the Game next year and we would love to bring the conference back in 2024. As for the location, this could be London or quite possibly somewhere in Europe. We are keen to build on Regulating the Game’s momentum and partnership with GLI and AXES and we will get to work on planning what Regulating the Game 2024 might look like shortly.

The event’s program focused on research, regulatory policy and practice, and ethical leadership in the gambling sector. Which particular topics across these areas dominated the conversation?

Regulating the Game stands apart because of our approach to the program. We intentionally bring regulators, industry, researchers, and leading experts across investigations, financial crime, and leadership and ethics, etc, as well as RegTech innovators and visionaries to speak, share expertise and insights. Our approach promotes policy discussion and debate and helps build capability, enlarge perspectives, and deepen collective knowledge and understanding, which is the bedrock of informed public policy and regulation.

Talks by Dr Jonathan Parke on gambling product features and their potential relationship with gambling harm and associated policy implications, and Pedro Romero’s discussion of psychedelic-assisted treatments for gambling disorder were riveting and challenged contemporary thinking and perspectives. Dan Waugh’s distilling lessons from the Gambling Act Review and the panel discussion ‘unpacking the white paper’ chaired by Julian Harris, consultant and founder of Harris Hagan, were must-attend sessions packed with robust discussions and exchange of views.

The keynote talk by Earle G Hall discussing AI and its capacity to relieve the mundane and bolster anti-money laundering and safer gambling outcomes captured the audience and Christina Thakor-Rankin delivered an insightful talk about the rise of women’s sport and sports betting and integrity issues. Christina observed that women’s sport was growing rapidly and was at an inflection point and that regulators and operators needed to be alert to the emerging gambling harm and match-fixing risks.

It was an immersive week packed with an impressive spread of themes and expert speakers and whether it was the discussion about regulatory or industry leadership or the anti-money laundering panel the engagement with speakers was strong with plenty of questions to explore key issues.

The conference featured networking events, including Pitch! What was the reception you received from visitors and stakeholders for this feature? What did the companies participating bring to the table?

Pitch! is an awakening for the sector designed to provoke innovation, inspire compliance, and excite the industry towards outstanding compliance and regulatory outcomes. Pitch! generated a lot of pre-conference interest and we had heaps of inquiries from organizations to talk at the event, but we could only select 8. London was the first time we have run Pitch! and the caliber of organizations pitching was impressive. We attracted some leading #fintech and #regtech firms working to uplift capability, remove friction, and enhance compliance outcomes in the sector.

We were thrilled with the caliber of organizations, their impressive pitches, and the excited atmosphere buoyed by terrific food and drinks. Our 8 London pitches were:

Applications are also now open for Pitch! @RTG Sydney running March 10-15, 2024. To submit an application or for more information, interested parties are encouraged to head to the event’s website and submit their pitch now.

Following the London edition, Regulating the Game Sydney is scheduled to take place on March 10-15. What novelties will it feature?

Regulating the Game Sydney is shaping up to be a remarkable event. We are assembling so many impressive speakers across each of the themed days:

  • Day 1 – Regulatory briefings and engagement
  • Day 2 – Anti-money laundering and safer gambling
  • Day 3 – Leadership, Integrity, Ethics and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Day 4 – Industry and Regulatory Technology and Innovation
  • Day 5 – Masterclass

We are also introducing a new Masterclass series. The Masterclass is more instructional-focused hands-on learning with key insights and leading thinking about policy and practices and known and emerging issues. The Masterclass series in Sydney will be focused on media skills led by Tess Salmon and Elliot Giakaus from Bastion Reputation, and anti-money laundering led by Crispin Yuen, Director, Custos Advisory, and Skye Arnott, Director Financial Crime, KordaMentha.

Apart from the incredible speakers and coverage of the program, we are planning some spectacular networking events including the welcome reception at Blu Bar on level 36 at the Shangri-La, one of Sydney’s most iconic cocktail bars, set high above the harbor with uninterrupted views across everything that makes Sydney, well, Sydney.

Regulating the Game Sydney 2024 is shaping up to be our best event yet and we are excited by the interest in Pitch! and the conference and look forward to seeing everyone in March next year! More details about the Sydney conference are available online.