IMGL Magazine April 2022

World Regulatory Briefing report

World Regulatory Briefing


Regulation, self-regulation, channelization and the future of virtual digital assets were all themes of the IMGL-sponsored World Regulatory Briefing as Phil Savage reports.

I MGL was once again a partner with Clarion on the World Regulatory Briefing which has become a key content component of ICE, its flagship London event. A large and engaged audience gathered on the eve of the main show to gain new insights into the minds of regulators. Rather than jurisdiction by jurisdiction, the content was divided by topic with valuable updates from regulators, operators and lawyers in markets where change has been most apparent. Setting the scene for what was to come, the head of the UK Gaming Commission, Andrew Rhodes gave a keynote address. As well as looking ahead to the conclusion of the UK’s review of its gambling legislation, Rhodes set out the challenges as he saw them. Alongside the need to evolve to keep pace with a rapidly changing gambling environment, he was particularly focused on new and emerging products. These, he said, promote themselves as “investment” or “trading” platforms but share many of the hallmarks of gambling. The perception that they are legitimate alternatives to mainstream financial products encourages users to risk far greater sums than they would on gambling platforms yet with none of the standards or safeguards. Regulators are also faced with the emergence of a new

generation of video games targeted at young people which incorporate elements blurring the lines between gaming and gambling. The gamblification of entertainment may not bring with it the risk of catastrophic financial losses, but there is the possibility of significant harms nonetheless. Both of these developments expose users to risks which dwarf those presented by the unregulated market, but regulators are only just waking up to the dangers they pose. The scale of this emerging challenge is significant and will be the next frontier of regulation. Regulators should work together, he said, and collaborate with industry sharing more of what works and is effective in the continued drive to guard against new risks. European regulatory roundup The largest European markets have all experienced significant change since the last World Regulatory Briefing. It was therefore timely to hear from regulators in France, Spain, Germany and the Netherlands on a panel representing over half of the European Union’s 450 million consumers. Isabelle Falque Pierrotin , Chair of ANJ in France, shared many of the concerns aired by her UK counterpart.

IMGL Magazine • April 2022 • 43

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