Gambling Commission's Sarah Harrison outlines gaming's good, bad and ugly

Gambling Commission's Sarah Harrison outlines gaming's good, bad and ugly

Monday, February 5, 2018

Speaking at ICE 2018’s World Regulatory Briefing today, Sarah Harrison MBE, CEO, GB Gambling Commission, shared her honest view on what the gaming industry is doing well, but also what it must do much better.

The good, Harrison said, is the people who are passionate, creative and committed. However, she had some constructive criticism to offer the industry too.

"I don’t get it”

One of the industry’s weaker points that it needs to fix is poor customer service, Harrison said: “Not being treated fairly, and I just don’t get it.” It’s much more commercially effective to get a customer, treat them well and keep them than to compete for new ones all the time, she said.

The future

The ugly for the industry is around the future of fixed betting terminals in the British market. We’ve seen parts of the industry “slugging it out with each other,” she said. “And that’s a massive missed opportunity.”

Harrison urged leaders to focus their energies on forging sustainable, future-focused businesses.


When discussing diversity in her presentation, Harrison received rapturous applause from the audience. The topic, she said, is close to her heart.

When the industry’s men are often represented in smart business suits but the women are in swimsuits, “it just does not compute,” Harrison commented, and it needs to change.

She concluded that the gaming industry is fast-moving, modern and exciting but it needs to better ensure it is more reflective of the economy and society of which it is a part.