BGLC targets international best practices

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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The Betting, Gaming & Lotteries Commission (BGLC) has embarked on a programme to update its enterprise risk management approach and implement a business continuity management strategy that observes international best practices and is in line with ISO standards.

The initiative kicked off over a week ago, with the entire senior management team of the gaming regulator participating in a five-day workshop covering ISO 31000 Enterprise Risk Management and ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management.

“Achieving high standards of corporate governance practice among public bodies is a goal of the Government,” revealed Vitus Evans, executive director of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission.

“We recognised the need for a modern and strategic approach in order to improve and enhance the management of business risk for the commission, so we took the decision that in pursuing this initiative we would follow the best practices and do so to world standards.”

Another key driver for the initiative is the commission's revenue target.

“As a regulator, we have a secondary function of revenue collection,” Evans said. “Last year the revenue collected for the Government was in the region of $6 billion and we have an aggressive revenue target of $7.2 billion for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. It is critical to ensure we identify, anticipate and manage those risks and opportunities which impact achieving the strategic objectives, which ensure the commission can meet its regulatory and revenue targets.”

The workshops were facilitated by Allen Keele of Certified Information Security, an organisation that focuses on executive development across the US, Caribbean and Europe for enterprise risk management, business continuity management, information security, anti-bribery and anti-corruption management, among other areas.

Keele says that governance and risk management work hand in glove.

“One of the most valuable things that the BGLC team grasped this week was the importance of leadership and governance in managing risk for the organisation,” Keele explained. “Managing risk is what governance is all about. It is very difficult to say that you have governance if you don't manage risk from top down.”

ISO 31000 and ISO 22301 are the globally recognised standards for risk management and business continuity management. The ISO website explains that risk affects organisations in terms of economic performance, professional reputation, environmental, safety and societal outcomes. Business continuity refers to the ability of an organisation to “protect against, reduce the likelihood of occurrence, prepare for, respond to and recover from disruptive incidents when they arise”.

Evans further highlighted the importance of risk management and business continuity for the gaming regulator.

“We need to be properly positioned to mitigate any risk that may threaten the BGLC's revenue and other assets that are to be protected, including our reputation and integrity,” he said. “We must be able to identify and assess the risks that face us in order to deal with any leakage that may exist.”

The Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission is an independent statutory body established under the provisions of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1965. The BGLC's mandate includes ensuring that Jamaica's gaming industry is operated in a structured and disciplined manner, that the industry is crime-free, and the public is protected from being exploited by gambling. The commission licenses and regulates the local gaming industry by granting permits and licences to people or entities considered fit to conduct betting, gaming and lottery activities.

— Alexis Monteith

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