The Gambling Commission's new three-year Corporate Strategy – what impact?

The Gambling Commission's new three-year Corporate Strategy – what impact?
Simon Wooldridge
by Simon Wooldridge Last updated:

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced its new three-year Corporate Strategy for 2024 through to 2027. 

The Commission’s strategy, titled ‘Gambling Regulation in a Digital Age,’ underscores its dedication to putting into action the decisions made in the Government's White Paper, ‘High stakes – Gambling reform for the digital age.’

The landscape has changed considerably since the Gambling Act 2005. Today, people can access gambling services just about anywhere, with big multinational tech companies providing exciting gambling opportunities. 

With evolving technology and data, gamblers are at greater risk than ever before, but these also bring fresh protective measures.

Here at Slot Gods we decided to take a closer look at this new strategy. Does it hold the answers to gambling’s current challenges? 

Strategy overview

According to the UKGC, the new strategy “will shape the future of gambling regulation in Great Britain,” bringing us closer to their “vision for a fairer, safer and crime free gambling market".

Areas the Commission will focus on include:

  • Improving its core operational functions

  • Using data and analytics to improve the effectiveness of gambling regulations 

  • Taking a proactive approach by dealing with issues as soon as possible

  • Making clear rules based on evidence for licensees

  • Regulating the National Lottery and ensuring it runs effectively and smoothly 

The strategy prioritises key factors, including:

  • How the Commission engages with stakeholders

  • Ensuring there are necessary resources to regulate efficiently 

  • Reviewing the Commission’s people plan 

By delivering on these commitments, the Gambling Commission's aim to make gambling safer and fairer, as well as crime free will be several steps closer to reality. Ultimately, they also hope the strategy will benefit the wider public, consumers and licensees. 

So, will this strategy deliver?

There’s no doubt that this fresh Corporate Strategy outlines a detailed approach for addressing challenges and opportunities in the gambling industry. The Commission emphasises its commitment to safety, fairness, and preventing crime – all critically important objectives. 

According to Commission CEO Andrew Rhodes, the “objective is to be the authoritative voice on evidence and data, to tackle misinformation, delve into the facts, and help bring about improved outcomes for the public”.

But, we must ask – does the strategy provide realistic solutions for challenges facing the industry?

Proactive measures 

As with most government documents, the policy paper is jam-packed with technical jargon, promising to improve the UK gambling landscape. Nevertheless, the strategy addresses important issues that have needed attention for many years. Not only that, it proposes proactive measures to improve regulation as well as oversight in the gambling sector. 

We’re encouraged to see an emphasis on collaboration between international regulatory partners and investment in data innovation, indicating a forward-thinking approach. 

According to this Corporate Strategy 2024 video from The Gambling Commission, they are “working with regulatory partners from around the world to share and pool knowledge and look for meaningful solutions to tackle common problems like illegal gambling operations”.

Commission CEO Andrew Rhodes reiterates the importance of such collaborations. 

“It is vital we maintain high standards for gambling consumers, working with industry to resolve issues at the earliest opportunity. We will continue to work across borders to tackle common issues like illegal gambling, and to learn and share regulatory best practice.”

This approach should prove an effective strategy for collective problem-solving, with an improved chance of building effective regulatory frameworks and enforcement strategies.

Technology and data at the core

There is also a focus on early intervention and the use of technology to further better regulatory capabilities.

“We're not just reactive, we’re proactive, addressing issues at the earliest opportunity. We're investing in tools, technology and skills in a new data innovation hub to improve the quality of the data we collect and how we use it,” states the video.

Proactive measures are key to identifying and reducing potential issues before they escalate. Early intervention can also help improve efficiency and the effectiveness of regulatory processes.

Commission Chair Marcus Boyle expects the new strategy will “raise standards in the gambling industry,” through a “new data innovation hub [that] will foster the smarter use of data.” Boyle also states that the Commission “will be creative in disrupting those who seek to operate illegally”.

With technology increasingly playing a greater role in gambling, we believe the Commission’s investment in tools, data, and technology will have far-reaching benefits in the gambling sector. For instance, such tools can:

  • Enhance data quality

  • Result in more informed decision-making processes

  • Strengthen regulatory compliance and enforcement measures

The Gambling Commission should be in a better position to adapt to evolving regulatory challenges through innovation; something the Corporate Strategy promises to do. 

Corporate fluff or much needed solutions?

For many reading the report, it may just seem like corporate speak, lacking a bit of substance. And, we understand this view as some concrete details on how the measures will be implemented are not clear. This results in scepticism on the real intent behind the strategy. Yes, the strategy puts forward several proposed measures, but until they are enforced, they might be seen as empty promises. 

We must also ask whether the proposed measures truly prioritise a gambler’s protection, or if they are influenced by the gambling industry’s interests? After all, the very regulatory agencies tasked with overseeing the gambling industry may become influenced by the very industry they are trying to regulate. This is why independence, transparency, and accountability in regulatory decisions are important. Only then can regulations serve the interests of the public, rather than the industry itself. 

Gambling operators should also take accountability for various shortcomings in the industry. The strategy doesn’t seem to indicate this plainly, leading to a little scepticism around the sincerity of the measures. 

There’s also the collaboration between regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders, such as gambling and sports sectors. Could this be a conflict of interest? We certainly feel there may be some influence, perhaps unknowingly, from industry players, undermining trust in certain aspects of the strategy, as well as how independent the regulatory process really is. 

Strategy pros and cons 

Inspecting the strategy carefully, there are several pros and cons. Overall, the strategy’s proposals promise player protection, addressing common concerns related to online gambling. However, ongoing evaluation is needed to ensure its effectiveness. For this, the benefits and potential drawbacks need to be assessed.

Some of the main benefits from the Corporate Strategy 2024 include:

  • Improved player protection against excessive gambling – The strategy aims to achieve this through the introduction of stake limits, financial risk checks, mandatory deposit limits and opt-out-marketing controls. Fortunately, support for problem gamblers is continuing to improve, with the strategy aiming to assist those most in need. 

  • Industry collaboration – Has the potential to improve the effectiveness of harm prevention methods.  

  • Targeted measures – Proposes the targeting of various risk groups, such as young adults aged 18 to 24, identifying those most vulnerable to gambling harm. They can therefore get help before any issues escalate.

  • Less exposure to gambling advertisements – The strategy focuses on stricter rules around gambling advertisements, which may limit the exposure of gambling marketing to vulnerable groups, such as children. 

  • Safer product designs – The updates and reviews of design rules for online gambling products, like online slots, can reduce associated risks, such as the illusion of control. Therefore, these products become safer for players and users.

We need to also point out some of the potential drawbacks we found in the strategy:

  • Challenging enforcements – There are logistical challenges when enforcing new regulations associated with financial risk checkers and data sharing. This likely needs many resources and coordination between regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders.

  • Players could be driven to unregulated gambling platforms – Stricter stake limits may lead players to offshore gambling platforms with fewer regulations, resulting in increased risks. 

  • Adaption challenges – Many online gambling operators may face challenges when trying to adapt to new regulations. They will need to change their platforms and marketing strategies, leading to increased costs, which may put some smaller operators out of business. 


The Gambling Commission's New Three Year Corporate Strategy addresses many issues that have plagued the industry over the last ten or so years. To achieve a “fair, safe, and crime-free gambling market where consumers and the interests of the wider public are protected,” as Commission Chair Marcus Boyle hopes for, the steps outlined in the strategy need to be introduced immediately. 

We just have wait to see if the Gambling Commission lives up to its promises, and find out whether the strategies set out will benefit gambling consumers going forward. 

Simon Wooldridge
by Simon Wooldridge Last updated:

Simon’s long-term fascination with slots started with teasing 40p worth of change from the skilful spinning of 10p coins into a fruit machine in the last century. This has grown recently to a solid appreciation for the often dazzling artistry, imagination and mechanics of modern online slots.