IMGL Magazine April 2022

Regulator’s perspective

I believe that organisations like IMGL have a big role to play in sharing best practice and building trust. IMGL members have the advantage of being lawyers with professional standards, so they enjoy a reputation for integrity which is a valuable currency when we are trying to move the industry forward. IMGL members represent clients on both sides and have the opportunity to open doors which others cannot. It’s on their shoulders to prove that their clients can be trusted as partners, but there is a role for an honest broker in discussions and they can really bring people together around the table. Once they are there, we will see how the discussion goes, but I think if regulators can be persuaded to meet with industry representatives and their representatives they will always learn something. Sometimes we can all be guilty of falling into our default position where we see it as an ‘us and them’ situation, but in my experience, it was never a waste of time to meet and share, and if IMGL can help with that, then all the better. I am surprised that more regulators don’t join IMGL and tap into that great resource of knowledge experience and information. When I was new to gambling and the Danish model was being developed, an experienced regulator kindly introduced me to IMGL. I felt extremely welcome and I soon realized that it was mutually beneficial. You get to discuss very different aspects of gambling legislation and regulation, and even more, you get valuable insights about the latest developments changing the gambling ecosystem. However, I do think that IMGL can do more to attract new regulator members. We need one another and both have a great deal to add to make the IMGL network even better. Things are moving so fast and knowledge sharing not only between regulators themselves but also the other important stakeholders such as industry advisors are, in my view, essential to preserve trust in gambling as fun, responsible entertainment. Looking to the future I have always been fascinated with the

international nature of the gambling industry and now I truly enjoy and appreciate working more consistently in many different parts of the world. I advise governments including gambling authorities on the design of their gaming/gambling legislation and the creation or revamp of their gambling authority. I am asked to support both the analysis and steps towards decision making regarding a new gambling regime as well as the actual construction of the gambling entity and the more basic working processes. In short, design, strategy and policies! I also advise industry players on market entry from a legislative/regulatory perspective or on issues regarding compliance in markets they already cover. All jurisdictions opening up to gambling struggle with many of the same issues - and the same goes for operators and suppliers etc. entering a new market. However, each jurisdiction is unique and you have to be very mindful and respectful of that in order to be successeful. This combined with the many exciting technological developments happening present both a lot of challenges but also a lot of opportunities. It is for all parties to make use of the best experiences available and take gaming and gambling to next level. We all have to be prepared to do that more often than ever before. Gaming and gambling provide great entertainment to so many people around the world and all of us working with this market as professionals owe it to the players and to society to do our very best to make sure it stays that way. That is a goal I take great pride in being a part of - previously as a regulator now as an advisor. I have by now practised for two years and I can honestly say that I feel very privileged to have worked for 12 years as a regulator with my colleagues in the Danish Gambling Authority and now to experience an acceptance and positive reaction from industry in my new advisory role. I humbly hope that this will inspire other regulators to explore the value of a well balanced dialogue with industry based on mutual respect and a shared wish to ensure fun and safe entertainment only.

Birgitte Sand is the former Danish regulator and the founder of Birgitte Sand Associates. She is IMGL’ Vice President for Affiliate Members

IMGL Magazine • April 2022 • 17

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