President’s Welcome April 2022 – Jason Lane

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It’s my absolute pleasure to introduce IAGR’s latest Newsletter and say a few words about our future plans, our 2022 Conference and some of the work IAGR has been conducting with our friends and partners around the globe.    

Before I do so, however, it is important to reflect on the past and present.  The last years have been hard on all of us, tragic for some, and have made many reconsider their motivations and ambitions in life.  Events in the Ukraine remind us that change can come quickly and fiercely, but we should not lose sight of what binds us together: public service, decency, integrity and a belief that we can, together, make things better.  With that in mind I am delighted to say that, for IAGR, 2022 promises to be an exceptional year.  

Building and maintaining relationships is of course in IAGR’s lifeblood. We have a strong rapport with our sister organisation GREF and share a common administrative support with NAGRA. We look to build our relationships with GRAF and other regulatory organisations, as well as with those who represent the industry we regulate.  That is why the joint conference with IMGL last year in Boston delivered additional value to both memberships and why your trustees will from time to time seek to replicate this coming together of regulator and regulated to provide a safe and transparent forum for essential dialogue. Simply put, it is in the interests of all parties that regulators understand business pressures and developing technologies whilst the industry needs to hear a perspective separate to that of its shareholders. Neither side will benefit and truly succeed without insight and engagement from the other. And this is why our forthcoming conference in Melbourne Australia is so important. It’s our opportunity to provide new content and ideas to our members, while associated industry professionals will have a ‘once in a year’ opportunity to interact with the world’s leading gaming regulators. I know I’m excited to be there and I trust that you will be too.

We can also look forward to our second IAGR International Regulatory Awards! Brainchild of former Trustee Catherine Myers, we have three award categories this year: ‘Best Regulatory Campaign’, ‘Regulatory Innovation’ and ‘Regulatory Excellence’. This is an opportunity to showcase the best of regulation and I urge you to cast modesty aside and put forward content that you think colleagues would benefit from hearing about from your jurisdiction. Shortlisted nominees will be asked to submit a video highlighting the best of their submission, with the winners being announced at our gala dinner.  

Melbourne offers the chance for a re-set. We’re holding it ‘in person’ and for those who can’t travel, the sessions will be recorded and available to members a day or so later. If circumstances change, we are capable and able to face the challenges of a digital conference, but that’s not what we expect and its certainly not what we are planning for.  So, book a bit of leave, dust off your luggage and lets meet in Melbourne!  

Within this landscape, the IAGR’s priorities remain clear. We intend to amplify our voice, engage in new strategic partnerships across the industry, academia, and appropriate third sector organisations.  We want to add greater value for our members and improve the efficiency of gambling regulation on a global scale.  We intend to build upon our partnerships with the International Gaming Standards Association (iGSA), the Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO) and begin a new relationship with the Sports Betting Community (SBC).  We should also increase our contacts with our sister organisations across the world: GREF, GRAF and NAGRA, to share knowledge and experience towards our common goal: efficient and effective regulation.  

With these priorities in mind, the work of IAGR, never truly stops. We want to hear of your best practice to showcase in our Regulatory Awards. We’ve been busy giving the website a revamp which we believe will make it more engaging and useful to our members. We will continue to broaden the scope of our engagement and work with partners like GREO and the iGSA to provide you more webinars because, based on your feedback, you’re finding them engaging and useful. So keep the comments rolling in. The Trustees are here to work for you and deliver the organisation that you want IAGR to be. The conference programme will be released shortly and I know that our hosts, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission, are keen to showcase their jurisdiction and some of the recent regulatory developments both in their State and across Australia.

IAGR has been fortunate over the many years of its existence to benefit from the input and support of many highly influential leaders and October 2022 marks an important opportunity for YOU to join their ranks! We are on the lookout for dynamic and engaged individuals who might consider joining the Board of Trustees in October, with here three positions available being vacated immediately after the conclusion of the Melbourne conference. I would particularly welcome expressions of interest from enthusiastic regulators who want to take a defined role within the organisation, be it taking a work stream forward, developing our website or helping out with the next conference. IAGR needs new faces and new ideas so I encourage you to get involved and help make a difference.  

So I think that’s enough from me. Please give us your feedback – what you think we do well, what we can improve, or indeed anything that you want to say that will help us build on what we have achieved to date and keep moving forward.   

Take care