Paul Newson: “There are big gaps in the market for really expert regulatory education”

Paul Newson, principal at Senet Advisory and IAGR patron and honorary member.
Paul Newson, principal at Senet Advisory and IAGR patron and honorary member.

Exclusive interview.- Paul Newson, principal at Senet Advisory and IAGR patron and honorary member, talks with Focus Gaming News about his quest for regulatory innovation.

After 25 years working in regulation in New South Wales, Paul Newson made the transition to the private sector last year as principal at Senet Advisory, which is offering a new certification for gaming called Senet Assure.

In an interview for the Focus Gaming News YouTube channel, the ever-energetic Newson says he’s thrilled to be back inside the industry itself with what he sees as a global first.

Senet’s Senet Assure certification process involves analysis of organisational governance, strategic direction, responsible gambling and AML practices and includes on-site visits.

Gaming certification 

“We think [Senet Assure] is a global first because we rigorously examine responsible gambling and anti-money laundering arrangements and practices. To our understanding, that’s not being done anywhere,” Newson says.

He stresses that those at Senet are not academics although why have extensive qualifications. He also sees Senet as championing the industry “to be responsible, but also to be sustainable and thrive.”

“If negative narratives are allowed to continue, then often blunt government intervention follows.”

Paul Newson, principal at Senet Advisory.

“In the face of regulatory headwinds that are occurring in every jurisdiction, we think the time is right,” Newson says.

“Senet Asure can help advance responsible gambling outcomes but also substantively improve resilience to financial crime, and importantly help safeguard operators from the risk around regulatory enforcement action and the very significant penalties that are occurring globally at the moment.”

Australia’s inquiries into Crown Resorts 

The launch of Senet Assure comes at a time when, in Australia as in many other jurisdictions, gaming regulation has been thrown into the spotlight.

New South Wales itself, where Newson served as deputy secretary for liquor, gaming & racing at the Department of Industry, Crown Resorts has been subject to the inspection of the Bergin inquiry.

“They’ve been subject to this enormous forensic scrutiny under which many organisations would wither under,” Newson notes, adding that some of the ramifications of the inquiry were also being seen. 

“This could spill over to be significant regulatory measures could harden the environment and could be blunt instruments that cause undue regulatory burden,” he says.

IAGR Boston 2021

In another of Newson’s roles, he’s a patron and honorary member of the International Association of Gaming Regulators, IAGR, which is pushing for innovation in the field. 

That was to be the theme of the IAGR conference scheduled for Boston last year, and it will be just as sharp at the rescheduled event, due to be held September 12 to 17.

“IAGR Boston is all about disrupting the regulator and sparking innovation in regulatory practice.”

Paul Newson, principal at Senet Advisory.

Newson says. “I’m hoping there’ll be some really courageous leadership to drive some reform and innovation in regulatory practice, and hopefully Australia can reclaim its thought leadership role in this space.”

IAGR in Boston will also be launching its inaugural international regulatory awards. There are five awards overall, including international regulator of the year and regulatory rising star.

“That’s going to be pretty impactful and hopefully that will focus attention on regulatory excellence and really spark some courageous thought leadership, innovation and embrace of technology,” Newson says.

Regulatory education

Newson’s also looking forward to this year’s Regulating the Game education course in Sydney, August 8 to 13, and is already looking at taking the course overseas, starting with Singapore

“We think there’s big gaps in the market for really expert regulatory education.”

Paul Newson, principal at Senet Advisory.

“We think Singapore is a logical next step to make it accessible to a bigger audience,” he says.

“You can do regulatory education online by distance and by remote but nothing can substitute that in-person exchange, that in-person contest of ideas, that networking opportunity where you build relationships, you share knowledge and share information. You just can’t trump in-person education.”

Check out the full interview with Paul Newson on the Focus Gaming News YouTube channel. Don’t forget to subscribe!

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