KnowNow Player Protection Forum 2024 … Meet the speakers

Don’t miss the KnowNow Player Protection Forum 2024 on 27/28 March.

We’ve got a packed agenda over the 2 days which will be delivered by our star line-up of speakers. Read on to find our more…

Player Protection Forum 2024

KnowNow Player Protection Forum 2024 … Meet the speakers.
Gemma Boore, Senior Associate, Harris Hagan.

Gemma Boore, Senior Associate, Harris Hagan.Gemma is a senior associate with Harris Hagan. Specialising in all aspects of online and
land-based gambling law, Gemma advises land-based and online gambling businesses
(B2C and B2B), as well as many start-ups and affiliates. She advises on legal
classification, non-remote and remote licence applications, personal applications,
transactional due diligence, general compliance and reporting requirements, compliance
assessments, regulatory investigations, corporate evaluations, operating and personal
licence reviews, and developing associated remedial compliance programmes and action plans. Gemma is also a commercial advisor to the sector, drafting and negotiating key commercial agreements including B2C terms and conditions and rules of play, B2B game, software and brand licensing arrangements, affiliate agreements and data protection
policies and procedures.
Gemma is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors.

Kirsty Caldwell, Founder and CEO, Betsmart Consulting.
Kirsty Caldwell, Founder and CEO, Betsmart Consulting.
Kirsty is the Founder and CEO of Betsmart Consulting, a compliance consultancy business which provides bespoke support solutions to the whole range of gambling businesses; from tier one companies right the way through to start-ups; covering remote and land-based B2C operators, as well as B2B and RegTech providers, across multiple jurisdictions. Kirsty holds degree and post graduate degree level qualifications in governance, risk and compliance, and a degree qualification in anti-money laundering, with the International Compliance Association.
Matthew Curtis, Head of Responsible Gaming, L&L Europe Limited.

Matthew Curtis Head of Responsible Gaming L&L Europe Limited

Matthew has been in the industry for over 7 years and has worked with various operators during that time. He found his calling within L&L Europe’s Responsible Gaming Department in 2017.
Now, as the Head of Responsible Gaming for L&L Europe, he manages strategies and represents the company during compliance assessments in the UK. Impressively, the company has avoided financial penalties for non-compliance which is a rarity in today’s stringent regulatory landscape.
Matthew is a common presence in networking and educational circuits, having contributed to many industry topics, including Fraud, AML, and, of course, Responsible Gaming.
Ruth Dancer, Director, White Griffin Ltd.

Ruth Dancer, Director, White Griffin Ltd.

Ruth Dancer is the leading equine environmental sustainability consultant and has authored three reports for the British Horse Racing Authority, Horse Sport Ireland and British Equestrian Federation, to understand the risks, challenges and opportunities of environmental sustainability on horse racing and horse sports. Her clients include the European Equestrian Federation, York Racecourse, the Racing Foundation, British Dressage, British Showjumping, Chester Racecourse, World Horse Welfare and the British Racing School, where she has co-written and delivers the first course dedicated to environmental sustainability in horse racing.

Ruth spent 18 years working for some of the biggest sporting events and venues in the world, including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, England Rugby World Cup 2015, Wimbledon, Wembley Stadium, Formula 1, Goodwood and Lingfield Park. Retraining in Environmental Sustainability, Ruth now brings her operational and commercial understanding of the industry to support the long term future of sport and entertainment.

Simo Dragicevic, Co-Founder, The Game Safety Institute.

Simo Dragicevic, Co-Founder, The Game Safety Institute.

Simo Dragicevic has been a technology entrepreneur in the gambling industry since 2010, as founder of BetBuddy, a pioneer in artificial intelligence and responsible gambling, which was acquired by Playtech Plc in 2017. He is on the boards of Canada’s Responsible Gambling Council and the GB Gambling Commission, as a member of its Digital Advisory Panel.  Most recently he is working on the launch of GSI (The Game Safety Institute), which is focused on developing new insights at the intersection of products, players and safer gambling.
Melanie Ellis, Partner, Northridge Law LLP.

Melanie Ellis, Northridge Law LLP

Melanie is a gambling regulatory lawyer, advising on all aspects of gambling law including licence applications, regulatory compliance, advertising, licence reviews and changes of control.

She is described in the legal directories as “a very impressive lawyer” who “demonstrates commercial pragmatism supported with a great deal of technical and operational knowledge and experience”.

Melanie has acted for a wide range of gambling operators including major online and land-based bookmakers and casinos, B2B game and software suppliers and start-ups. She also frequently advises operators of raffles, prize competitions, free draws and social gaming products.

Melanie has a particular interest in the use of new technology for gambling products and novel product ideas. She is a regular contributor to industry publications such as iGaming Business, EGR and Casino & Gaming International, writes a monthly column for Casino International and often speaks at industry events.  Melanie is listed as a “next generation partner” in the Legal 500 directory and is also ranked in Chambers.

Sian Harding, Associate, Betting and Gaming – Mishcon de Reya LLP.

Sian Harding, Associate, Betting and Gaming – Mishcon de Reya LLP speaking at the KnowNow Player Protection Forum 2024

Sian is an associate in the Betting and Gaming group at Mishcon de Reya. She has experience advising companies in the gambling and gaming sectors on a range of regulatory and compliance matters, including responsible gambling, regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings. Sian also supports clients on corporate transactions and commercial disputes.

Sian and Dan Gray from Mishcon will be presenting Sustainable by Design:

“Until now, action on sustainability has been largely voluntary, driven by the desire to improve reputation. But this picture is rapidly changing. New regulations, especially those coming out of the EU in relation to disclosure and due diligence, are mandating how companies should approach the identification, assessment and management of sustainability-related risks, opportunities, dependencies and impacts. This includes applying the concept of ‘double materiality’, which requires companies to examine and report not only how sustainability issues affect enterprise value, but also how their business activities impact people and planet. With strategic implications extending beyond reporting, this session will illuminate why every business should be preparing for them. “


Richard Hayler, Managing Director, Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS).

Richard Hayler, Managing Director, Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS).

Richard Hayler joined IBAS as Managing Director in 2011, having previously held positions at the regulatory authorities for greyhound and horse racing. IBAS is the UK’s largest and longest established provider of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the gambling sector, independently reviewing complaints from consumers against gambling operators. IBAS plans to bid to transform into the UK’s first Gambling Ombudsman, meeting a recommendation made the government’s April 2023-published Gambling Review.

Dan Gray, Sustainable Business Knowledge Leader – Mishcon de Reya LLP.

Dan Gray, Sustainable Business Knowledge Leader – Mishcon de Reya LLP.

Dan is part of Mishcon Purpose, the specialist sustainability practice of Mishcon de Reya LLP. An insights professional, writer and consultant, he has more than 15 years’ experience at the crossroads of sustainability, strategy and stakeholder communications. His work has spanned multiple continents, working with and for organisations of all sizes, from entrepreneurial impact enterprises to global firms.

Aras Kaplan, Compliance Manager, Leisure Electronics.
Aras Kaplan, Compliance Manager, Leisure Electronics.

Aras was formerly Operations & Release manager at the Azerion Group, with previous experience in the regulatory fields of the pharmaceutical industry.
Now Compliance Manager at Leisure Electronics, he is primarily focused on keeping them in line with an ever-changing regulatory and ethical landscape. This means also ensuring compliance in all activities connected to an ever expanding Leisure Electronics. His core focus is, what his colleagues at Better Change coined, positive play. This is more commonly referred to as socially responsible gambling – ensuring harmony between business functions and regulatory compliance.

Martin Lycka, SVP American Regulatory Affairs & Responsible Gambling, Entain.

Martin Lycka, SVP American Regulatory Affairs & Responsible Gambling, Entain.

Martin Lycka is SVP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling at Entain, overseeing growth of the business across both new U.S. states and into other parts of the Americas, notably LATAM and Canada. In this capacity, he also oversees global esports related regulatory matters for Entain. He joined the business in April 2018, as Director of Regulatory Affairs.  

Martin also serves on the boards of the Entain Foundation, the Entain Foundation US and the American Gaming Association as well as the Advisory Boards to the National Council on Problem Gambling, Seton Hall Law School Gambling Compliance program and My Wager Score.

In total, Martin has been a senior legal, regulatory and RG advisor to listed gambling businesses for over 14 years.  

Previously, Martin worked amongst others with Salans Europe LLP, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic and the Senate of the Czech Republic.  

He obtained law degrees from the Charles University, Prague, the College of Europe, Bruges, and the University of Law, London, qualifying as UK solicitor.  

Martin is a regular conference speaker and has (co-)authored more than 80 academic articles and three books on gambling law and other legal matters. His media presence includes appearances on TV and radio stations across three continents as well as having been quoted by ESPN, Forbes, the Associated Press, Financial Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and many other mainstream and industry publications.  

He is the 2019 Global Regulatory Awards Head of Regulatory Affairs of the Year, 2022 Global Regulatory Awards Individual Contribution to RG award winner, 2023 Don Feeney Award Responsible Gambling Excellence holder as well as a member of the 2020/2021 Emerging Gambling Leaders 40 Under 40 Class (a Judge’s Choice). He also hosts the Safe Bet Show podcast.

Robert Mabbett, Engagement Director, Better Change (Gibraltar) Limited.
Robert Mabbett, Engagement Director, Better Change (Gibraltar) Limited.

Rob joined Better Change from the charity Gordon Moody where he spent 5 years helping to raise their profile and ensure sufficient treatment spaces were available to meet demand. With over 11 years industry experience, including being a previous winner of the Racing Post and SiS Betting Shop Manager of the Year award, Rob is a keen advocate of the gambling industry and brings a unique insight into the prevention and treatment of gambling harm. He is keen to focus his efforts further upstream in his role at Better Change aiming to prevent gambling harm through Positive Play.

Dena Merson, Founding Consultant and Leadership Coach, Simply Racing.

Dena Merson, Founding Consultant and Leadership Coach, Simply Racing.

Dena Merson, Founder of Simply Racing, has extensive experience in coaching and mentoring in the racing industry working with CEOs and Boards, as well as with executives across the sport. She devised and developed the Women In Racing mentoring programme, and has developed the Racing Home project, a programme supporting working parents in the Horseracing industry. A former Managing Director at Credit Suisse, Dena grew a breeding and bloodstock business before starting her own executive coaching business working in the City and with the military. She sat on the ROA Executive and Council, various racing committees and was on the Board of Thoroughbred Owner and Breeder. Dena blends a keen understanding of horseracing politics with business expertise and specialisation in leadership.

Lee Mottershead, Senior Writer, Racing Post.

Lee Mottershead, Senior Writer, Racing Post.

Lee is the Racing Post’s senior writer and a three-time racing writer of the year. He reports on the sport’s biggest events in Britain and around the world, with his laptop having taken him to Australia, America, Japan, India and Hong Kong, as well as across Europe. He writes interviews, features, special reports, news stories and a weekly column. In addition, Lee makes regular television, radio and podcast appearances. He is the author of three books.

Paula Murphy, Business Development Manager, Mindway AI.

Paula Murphy, Mindway AI

Welcome back to KnowNow founder and former MD Paula Murphy who now represents Mindway AI on the UK market, helping operators meet the new British legislative requirements.  Paula has a vast industry network in the UK and a deep understanding of the challenges operators face. She is passionate about helping operators boost player protection through early detection and intervention.

Dave Richardson, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Better Change (Gibraltar) Limited.

Dave Richardson, Head of Strategic Partnerships, Better Change (Gibraltar) Limited.

Dave has been with Better Change from not long after it was founded and has a history of project managing and coaching, which he has brought to the gambling industry with his passion for safer gambling inclusive of everyone who gambles, not solely those at risk of harm. Having spoken on many panels at several global industry events and conferences Dave is a keen advocate for safer gambling to be at the heart of a sustainable industry and recognises the commercial benefits of this for any operator.

Bryony Sheldon, Director of Policy, UK Gambling Commission.

Bryony Sheldon, Director of Policy, UK Gambling Commission.

Bryony joined the Gambling Commission’s Policy function as a Director in 2022. Her focus includes the implementation and evaluation of policy decisions resulting in changes to the Commission’s regulatory arrangements.

Bryony has worked in a variety of regulatory policy leadership and managerial roles. Her last role was with the Commission, as Head of Policy for the 4th National Lottery Licensing Competition. Prior to that she worked at the Legal Services Board, Ofgem and the National Lottery Commission. Bryony holds a degree in law.

Simon Vincze, Head of Sustainable & Safer Gambling, Casino Guru.

Simon Vincze, Sustainable & Safer Gambling Lead. Casino Guru.

Šimon Vincze is Casino Guru’s Sustainable & Safer Gambling Lead, and an advocate for Responsible Gambling. He provides guidance on player protection, steers the company towards current best practices, and seeks opportunities for Casino Guru to have a positive influence.
He leads the Global Self-Exclusion Initiative and the Casino Guru Academy. Šimon is dedicated to making gambling sustainable and secure for all involved parties, prioritizing legitimate entertainment with acknowledged risks for players, while ensuring operators uphold responsibility.

Within the Global Self-Exclusion Initiative, Šimon is guiding a dedicated team that envisions an effective global self-exclusion scheme to deter struggling players. Recognizing shortcomings in existing tools, he aspires to create a strong barrier against online gambling allure. As part of the Initiative, Šimon is working on Self-Exclusion Standards together with the City, University of London.

In Casino Guru Academy, a free educational hub embodying collective knowledge, a team led by Šimon offers interactive courses on industry best practices, while emphasizing safer gambling. With insights from the Casino Guru and esteemed partners, the Academy fortifies player-operator relationships and shares vital practical knowledge.

KnowNow Player Protection Forum 2024.

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Player Protection Forum 2024

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