Responsive gaming regulation features in IAGR2019 program

The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) has announced that responsive regulation will be the theme of Professor John Braithwaite’s keynote presentation at its upcoming annual conference in September this year.

IAGR2019 will be held in Montego Bay, Jamaica on 30 September to 3 October, and will bring together the world’s leading gaming regulatory thinkers and practitioners.

Titled Regulating the game, the conference will focus on how regulators can foster a secure, vibrant, innovative, safe and responsible industry.

In the wake of the record US$35 million fine handed out to Wynn Resorts by the Massachusetts Gambling Commission, when and how to respond to misconduct is front of mind for gaming regulators.

Professor John Braithwaite, Distinguished Professor, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University (ANU) College of Asia and the Pacific, will be looking at how regulators can integrate lessons learned from other sectors.

“Surprisingly often, hospitals make ridiculously bad medical errors. When they did this, their lawyers used to advise them not to admit anything,” said John.

“Now many hospitals apologize to patients as soon as possible and often involve patients in root cause analysis meetings to prevent this kind of bad practice from happening again.

“Their experience is that this reduces litigation costs by one third and makes hospitals safer.”

John believes gambling providers and gambling regulators can learn a great deal from this approach.  

“Restorative justice will be discussed as one arrow in the gambling regulator’s quiver. Restorative justice can sometimes sharpen the Sword of Damocles that a regulator holds over the head of a non-compliant firm. Sometimes jumping straight to a punitive regulatory response can blunt the sword. How can regulators make the right decisions on when to punish and when to persuade? When should compliance be coaxed and caressed through capacity building and when should it be coerced?”

“Responsive regulation is one approach to integrating answers to these questions into a coherent compliance strategy.”

John will talk about examples of responsive regulation in other industries. He will discuss whether responsive pyramids of regulatory strategies and sanctioning sequences might be a helpful way of thinking about gambling regulation.

John’s session will be part of IAGR’s program for Thursday 3 October.