Incoming Chairman, Strategy Forum, and Chief Operating Officer, Aspers Group
“The gambling industry is at a critical point in its history with unprecedented regulatory, political and, potentially, fiscal pressures ahead of us. Consumer confidence in the industry has diminished so it is critical that the casino sector continues to lead the industry, speaking with one voice, generating new ideas and leading the field in innovation and responsible gambling. The casino sector is rightly at the top of the regulatory pyramid. Our properties are safe, highly supervised environments where we keep the consumer at the heart of everything we do.
This is why the role of the NCF Strategy Group is so important. It is only by having a clear, comprehensive strategy about how the sector, and ultimately the wider industry, deals with the regulatory and economic obstacles ahead, that we can hope to keep our industry commercially successful and able to grow.
As the new Chairman, I am determined to build on the past successes of the NCF and make it as effective a force as possible for the future. I am bringing to the role my experience as Chief Operating Officer for Aspers Group, which is an incredibly challenging and rewarding position. With a very small but highly driven management team, Aspers has grown from inception to a £100M+ revenue business with more than 1250 employees in just 12 years. Against all the odds, we successfully bid for, and won, three large casino licences and opened the UK’s flagship casino in Stratford in 2011”.
Vice Chairman, Strategy Forum, and Managing Director, Caesars Entertainment EMEA:
“The UK casino industry pays a substantial amount of taxation to the Government relative to its revenues, including Gaming Duty on gaming income, VAT on food and beverage sales, employment taxes and national insurance contributions, business rates on properties, corporation tax on profits and, in addition, is only able to recover a limited amount of VAT on purchases.
The role of the NCF Tax Forum is to ensure that the importance of this contribution is fully understood by Government and that UK casinos receive the necessary support to enable them to offer an enjoyable entertainment experience, provide employment opportunities and, above all, to be viable operations for safe gambling.
We work collaboratively within NCF to make sure we have useful, reliable data which we can share with stakeholders. Our work with Government seeks to highlight not only the risks and benefits of taxation policy and administration, but also that the UK casino sector is an important and responsible contributor to the British economy.”
“All Nominated Officers and Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLROs) employed by the land-based casino industry in Great Britain are members of the National Casino Forum’s Anti Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing Committee. The Committee was formed as a centre of excellence dedicated to keeping crime out of gambling and ensuring that casino operations are not used as a conduit for money laundering and/or the financing of terrorist activity.
Committee members play a key role in preparing AML/CTF best practice guidelines and have recently released a second edition to incorporate the recent changes in legislation and increasing legal and regulatory responsibilities. Members also work in partnership with the Gambling Commission to develop and promote best practice.
Members are proud of their achievements and work tirelessly to maintain the highest standards of corporate culture relating to AML/CTF compliance, ensuring that the land-based casino industry continues to be assessed as a low risk overall in comparison with other regulated sectors”.
COMPLIANCE AND REGULATORY FORUM
Chairman of the Compliance and Regulatory Forum, and Compliance and Security Director for Les Ambassadeurs:
“The NCF’s Compliance and Regulatory Forum complements the work of the Strategic Forum by ensuring that senior compliance and operational staff from all operators are working collaboratively to promote a positive agenda for the industry. Our work includes engagement with the Gambling Commission; formulating a joined-up response to regulation and changes to the legal framework; responding to consultations that affect the industry; and setting standards such as the Best Practice AML/CTF Guidelines for the UK Land- based casino industry, best practices in social responsibility and promoting diversity.
The Forum allows the senior compliance and operational professionals from the membership organisations to stay informed, openly discussing current issues and responses to the Gambling Commission’s regulatory activity. It ensures that the industry is moving in the same direction, towards a socially responsible and economically sustainable casino industry. Additional sub-committees deal with specific areas of compliance and regulation.
In the coming year we will begin to tackle the challenges of future payment methods and the changing way that customers expect to pay for their live leisure experiences in an increasingly digital world. We will continue to focus on responsible gambling and anti-money laundering best practices, whilst highlighting the benefits that a level playing field with online and international competition would bring. We will continue to build on the collaborative regulatory compliance work that we do and to ensure that the land-based casino industry remains the safest and most socially responsible gambling choice for our customers”.