Compliance directors face a lot of challenges, especially within the gaming industry. We caught up with Susan Cosgrove from Annexio, who was kind enough to share her insights on the role, on what helps, and why she and the Ireland national rugby union team are so good at what they do.
Here’s what Susan had to say….
Q. As a compliance manager what kind of challenges are you facing at the moment?
As anyone who works in Online Gambling will tell you, there has been a big shift in regulation and licence conditions over the past 10 years. We have strict AML, Social Responsibility and Advertising standards that we must adhere to. As these are reviewed and updated regularly we must always ensure that we are fully compliant. This means changing systems, amending policies and procedures and notifying/training all departments on these updates. It is therefore, a company wide effort to ensure that we are up to scratch.
Q. Since LCCP regulation was put in place, how has this affected you?
We were given sufficient time to implement a robust age verification solution so it was just a matter of working with IT and our provider to ensure it was integrated smoothly and that we were fully compliant with the updated regulations before 7th May. It makes sense that anyone who registers for an online gambling account is age/address verified – you would hardly hand out alcohol to someone and request they provide their age after a few days!
Q. What helps you in your job?
As Compliance Director, I need to know every part of my company from IT, Marketing, Acquisitions to Finance. The ability to clearly and openly communicate to all departments is key. I like to work with junior members right up to board level – everyone can have an opinion and I really enjoy hearing different points of view. I don’t believe that there is ever a one size fits all solution to certain problems, so to allow for everyone’s input really helps in my role.
Q. What’s the biggest difficulty?
Within the gaming industry, it can be tricky to find a balance with Responsible Gambling – at one end you have to ensure that you have enough controls and tools available to players to minimise harm, yet you want players to enjoy playing with us. The industry is very aware of the large fines which have been recently issued in relation to AML failings / Responsible Gambling so everyone is being extra diligent and tightening up controls. There are no defined rules which we must follow, so it can be quite objective when reviewing players. At the end of the day, we need to ensure that the business objective is to allow for growth whilst ensuring that no one comes to harm.
Q. What excites you about new or future ways to meet compliance in customer-friendly ways?
Onboarding of new players should be seamless and allow for a good player journey. When reviewing new solutions, I always like to test it out myself first before I present it to the Board. If I am having issues at an early stage, I know it won’t work for us.
Full online documentation verification is key at the moment and I am looking forward to enhancing our systems to allow for this.
Q. How is your compliance approach like that of the Irish Rugby Team? I know you’re a fan 🙂
Compliance can sometimes be an upwards battle, you have to be strong to put across your point of view and be able to argue your case on why you think a control or process is necessary. Much like the Irish Rugby Team, you have to be resilient and always willing to keep pushing on to get the best results!
Thanks very much Susan! We very much appreciate you taking the time to talk with us and share some great insights. We wish you and the Irish Rugby Team all the very best!