It is now two years since we established the Gambling Business Group from what had been the Gambling Committee within Business in Sport and Leisure. I must say that it has been a pleasure to work with Peter Hannibal, Jim O'Halleran and Susanna Fitzgerald in order to establish the UKs first 'cross sector' organisation for the UK Gambling industry. In my view as an operator it is something that has been long overdue, the opportunity for representatives of the various gambling sectors to come together and work towards achieving solutions that can be applied right across the industry. A good example of this cooperation has been the GBG TITO protocol which was developed by our Machines sub group and which is now the industry standard for TITO applications in the UK. Recently we have established even closer ties with BIL (Business in Licensing) which is led so effectively by Susanna Fitzgerald.
Last month we all attended the ICE show at the Excel centre in Docklands and I am sure that the scale of the event (it now fills all the Excel space) coupled with the vast array of gaming products made most visitors feel proud to be associated with an international industry that continues to reinvent itself and which always produces innovative and ground breaking games and products. There can be no doubt that ICE is now the worlds premier gaming show and Peter Hannibal was at the show for three days meeting with members and regulators.
One of the key areas where our cross sector credentials are obvious is in the frank and open dialogue which we achieve with both the DCMS and the Gambling Commission. We have shown on a number of occasions that we are not backward in coming forward and are prepared to state our case in a robust way. On occasions this does irritate people but I feel it is essential that we take the lead on some issues where other stakeholders seem to fudge around the edges and of course are then seen to be less effective and weak.
I am confident that this web site will become a useful tool for our members and we will ensure that it is always current. We will of course also welcome any ideas from members for improving any aspect of the site.
Our next full members meeting is scheduled for April 5th 2016 when we will be welcoming Sarah Harrison, CEO/Head of the UK Gambling Commission. If you are reading this as a member then do please come along, if you are not a member but would like to attend then that is easily solved, join the GBG, the annual fees for operators start at only £3,000 per year which is great value for money!