A chat with Elaine Smethurst, our Non-executive director

Our people are at the heart of IBAS. So we have launched a new blog series to give you a deeper insight into our work and who makes our team great! 

First up is Elaine Smethurst, one of our Non-executive Directors. 

Tell us about your background and experience in gambling or dispute resolution?

Before I joined the IBAS board, I was the Managing Director of Gordon Moody Association. A charity which provides treatment and support services for people struggling with gambling addiction.

How long have you worked at IBAS?

Since January 2018.

What are your key responsibilities at IBAS? 

As a Board Director, I share responsibility with the rest of the Board to make sure IBAS fulfils its mission effectively and efficiently. We ensure good governance, oversee the strategy and the budget also support the staff team in delivering IBAS' aims and objectives.

With my background and previous experience, I am particularly interested in the interrelatedness between gambling dispute resolution and the prevention and identification of gambling harms. In addition, I'm passionate about good communication and help with recruitment and staff development. 

What work-related accomplishment are you most proud of?

During my time at Gordon Moody Association, I was able to turn round the fortunes of the charity and helped to secure its future. I was incredibly proud to pilot a ground-breaking women's treatment programme. It's a thrill to see the charity going from strength to strength now.

Are there any common misconceptions about IBAS that frustrate you?

Our critics often assume that IBAS is in the gambling industry's pocket, and we are, therefore, biased in favour of gambling companies. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of our core values is independence, and we consistently deliver fair and impartial adjudication, so it's frustrating to be falsely accused.

Where are we most likely to find you outside of work?

I live near Bushy Park in South West London and spend a lot of time walking there and growing veg on my allotment. I love Spain and visit whenever I can to enjoy the weather, the culture and Spanish food and wine. 

Your top 3 favourite podcasts/books/boxsets?

I've not really got into podcasts, but I read avidly and watch a lot of Netflix. The book I've most recently enjoyed is Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus - I'm sure it will make a brilliant film. I loved Breaking Bad and the prequel/sequel Better Call Saul even more.

One thing you would change about the gambling industry?

All gambling companies should have gambling compliance and prevention of gambling harms embedded in their business ethos from the very top. The good ones already get this, but sadly some still only do the bare minimum to keep their licenses and, when caught out, see any subsequent fines as the cost of doing business. Gambling should be fun, and dangerous practices need to be ruled out.

 

HOW ARE WE DOING?

Total Value of Payments Awarded or Conceded to Customers in 2020.
£480,222
Total Requests for Adjudication.
5,673

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