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Security & Risk Consultancy

Roy Ramm, Managing Director, ExtraYard Ltd chats to Peter White


Can we commence this interview with an outline of your organisation?

ExtraYard Ltd is a security and risk consultancy with special interest and expertise in gambling. We offer advice to companies in the gaming and leisure sector on the practical application of and compliance with regulations – particularly AML and social responsibility requirements - as well as supporting companies and individuals facing challenging security or integrity issues with a high level discrete investigative service.

Apart from the help and support we can offer existing businesses, we are also keen to be involved with new entrants to the market. Getting things right from the outset is a lot less stressful and, in the long run, much cheaper than trying to remedy embedded problems.

As I hope the name of our company suggests, we will go that extra yard to provide the kind of help and support with compliance and security issues that businesses - small or large - in the sector need.

You have built up a considerable amount of knowledge of the Casino industry in almost 20 years and combined with your former role in the Metropolitan Police this combines very well for your new enterprise.

In a challenging competitive environment, one of the key assets of a casino company is the trust its customers have in its operations. If good customers don’t have trust in the integrity of an organisation they will take their custom elsewhere and the reverse is also true: companies with bad reputations will attract bad people. My experience at Scotland Yard as a former senior police officer and then as a director of international casino companies has given me a unique insight into the vulnerability of gambling organisations and how to protect them without damaging what is essentially a leisure experience to be enjoyed.

The public perception of personal safety and security is also now a key risk issue. With international terrorism now targeting leisure venues and other soft targets, the threat to companies in the casino sector in a number of jurisdictions has increased very considerably. With the experienceavailable through ExtraYard, we are well-placed to recommend effective and proportionate security measures that protect individuals without harming the business.

What do you foresee are amongst the key security aspects at land-based Casino’s that are likely to see the most change in the future?

I think getting international law makers and regulators to understand the impact of poorly conceived or applied anti-money laundering legislation on the gaming sector is going to be a major challenge. All the senior executives I speak to are totally committed to ensuring their businesses do not become havens for money launderers but, there is real concern that rules that have been applied in other sectors have been applied with little change and even less thought to the gaming sector. One regulator said that his expectation was that a casino manager should apply due diligence process in precisely the same way as a bank manager assessing a mortgage! That kind of comment shows a lack of understanding of both the level of risk and the very nature of the transactions the industry conducts. If the trend for tighter and tighter ill-fitting legislation continues, not only does the industry face an uncomfortable future but regulators risk driving gamblers to unlicensed operations, with all that risk they present.

There is also increasing regulatory interest in the convergence of measures needed to deal with money laundering and responsible gambling. It all comes down to being sure you know your customer and we can certainly help companies to do that.

Is your organisation concentrating on the UK and European Casino industry only or is it International?

We have considerable experience of the expectations of law enforcement and regulators across the world. I have personally been licensed in four international gaming jurisdictions and have worked both as an investigator and a company executive in a dozen or so more. So, no its not just the UK or the EU. We can offer the same suite of services pretty well anywhere.

Can you explain a little more about how your company ExtraYard evolved and what are its main advantages for Casino operations?

I was thinking about how to protect assets and maximise commercial opportunities in the gambling and leisure sector. It occurred to me that operators regularly reach out to professionals like solicitors and accountancy firms to help with difficult and complex issues they cannot deal with in-house. Often there are operational aspects that those other professionals don’t have the experience to deal with alone. They may also not understand well enough the workings and expectations of law enforcement or regulators. So I saw ExtraYard as providing both its own unique set of services and as offering a complementary set of skills to the other professionals. We have already established a very effective relationship with licensing and gambling consultants, Clifton Davies Licensing Consultancy Limited, and will do more collaborative work going forward.

For those wishing to learn more about the services ExtraYard provide Casino operations how best can they contact you?

As always, the easiest way is by email or through the website, rr@extrayardsecurity.com. Contracted clients have immediate 24 hour telephone access.

And finally What are your primary goals for 2016?

For all new businesses the early years are about building reputation. I’d like to see ExtraYard develop as the first port of call for companies that need extra expert help. My marketing plan really revolves around satisfied clients promoting ExtraYard through their own business network