North American Gaming Regulators Advance Relationship With European Counterpart

Written By J.R. Duren on November 30, 2023
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The North America Gaming Regulators Association (NAGRA), a body of stakeholders that includes local, state, federal, and tribal regulators, has announced it’s deepening relationships with the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF), NAGRA’s counterpart across the pond.

Ryan Winfield, who works in the Arizona Department of Gaming and is NAGRA’s president, said in a press release that NAGRA and GREF’s evolving relationship reflects the changes that the gambling industry is going through in North America and internationally.

Combined, the two organizations bring more than 100 regulators together.

NAGRA and GREF partnership will focus on three key areas

NAGRA and GREF’s partnership is meant to, among other things, share what the two groups are learning as they navigate the growth and transition of the gaming markets in their regions. Specifically with the growth of online casino and sports gambling.

To that end, the two groups are implementing three new initiatives that should, in theory, improve communication and idea sharing:

  1. NAGRA and GREF interest groups will hold joint meetings
  2. The two groups will offer invitations and speaking opportunities at each other’s conferences
  3. Hosting joint seminars about risks old and new that put regulations in jeopardy

“With a public opinion across the globe more and more concerned about the risks related to excessive gambling offer and with the increase of gambling markets and innovations, exchange between regulators worldwide is crucial,” GREF Chair Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin said in a GREF news release.

“Regulators of GREF and NAGRA face the same issues and I believe that this collaboration will improve the protection of our consumers.”

NAGRA board represents various markets across US and Canada

NAGRA’s board consists of 10 regulators.

Seven individuals are from state-level regulatory groups. Then there are two representing the Potawatomi Gaming Commission (the Potawatomi Nation runs casinos in Wisconsin). And one representative from the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario.

The board provides a decent cross-section of North American gaming, including:

  • Michael Gollub, New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement: New Jersey online casinos are arguably the premier gambling market in the country. The state is a leader in iGaming.
  • Milton Champion, Maine Gambling Control: A veteran of gaming regulation. Champion oversaw the regulatory framework for the US’s newest market, Maine.
  • Van Billops, New Mexico Gaming Control Board: New Mexico is one of the country’s smaller sports betting and gaming markets.
  • Meghan Frye and Michael A. Hammer, Jr.: Potawatomi Gaming Commission: The Potawatomi are a federally recognized tribe that operates casinos in Wisconsin and opened the first retail sportsbook in the state.

Past board members include regulators from California, Delaware Iowa, Manitoba, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, and Virginia.

Ryan Winfield commented: “The power of partnership and collaboration between GREF and NAGRA is important in this ever-evolving industry.

The changing landscape and the future of gaming makes it imperative that we reach out to other organisations in the industry in order to remain informed as we tirelessly serve our communities. This commitment to collaboration and communication will serve people across the globe.”

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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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