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Our role in delivery

Whilst our six evidence themes cover a broad and diverse range of topics and issues, we are aware that there are key principles that should be inherent in the delivery of robust, good quality evidence across the wider ecosystem. These principles apply to the collection and development of evidence, and the communication and dissemination of the evidence base. We will continue our efforts to strengthen our approach to these principles over the course of the next three years.


As a regulator, one of our key areas of interest is in what works, for whom, and why. This relates to both evaluating the effectiveness of our own work and efforts to meet our licensing objectives, and also to the part that evaluation in the wider evidence ecosystem plays in improving our understanding and informing regulation.

There is a collective need for a better understanding of the impact of interventions and programmes aiming to prevent or reduce harm, across all the themes and issues we have identified. We recognise however that there are challenges, not least in the complexity of the interventions that require evaluation and the contexts in which they occur.

There is also a need to be proportionate, and to consider how we can be pragmatic and realistic (both in terms of resource and time) in delivering good evaluations. However, an increase in the use of evaluative approaches to tackle some of the gaps we have identified will be pivotal in developing a richer and more informative evidence base.

The role of lived experience

An essential part of the evidence base is the direct input of people with lived experience of gambling harms. The Commission’s Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) provides us with advice and perspectives based on its members own experiences of a wide range of gambling harms.

We will be working with LEAP and the wider lived experience community going forward to get their input into the scoping and development of new research projects, as well as when we have emerging findings and data to explore. This will be hugely beneficial and will improve the quality of the research that we conduct and the insights that we can tap into. This will take place alongside our wider consumer voice research programme, which will ensure that the views of all gambling consumers are taken into account when developing our evidence base.

Governance and transparency

Strong research governance is vital in building a robust and impactful evidence base. As a body that commissions research it is important that we conduct work in a way that is authoritative and trusted, and we are committed to ensuring that our processes are in line with best practice.

When we collect data that is reported as official statistics, we follow the Code of Practice for Statistics (opens in new tab). This ensures that the statistics we provide meet the needs of all users, are produced, managed and published to high standards, and are well explained.

We also follow best practice standards when procuring and delivering our wider research programme, and going forward we will be paying even greater attention to the way that we conduct our work. This includes strengthening our peer review processes, ensuring that our approaches are ethically sound, and working with partners who have robust procedures in place.

Linked to research governance is the issue of transparency, and the expectation that high quality research and evidence is transparent about methodological and analytical approaches, provides full disclosure and discussion of limitations, and allows others to replicate the work themselves. The development of our six evidence themes is itself an effort to be transparent about what drives our thinking, and we will strive to increase the transparency of our work going forward.


Lastly, we also recognise the need for good research and evidence to be accessible to all. There are two facets to this:

  1. allowing greater access to our research and evidence by making datasets available for wider analysis
  2. making sure that all of our research outputs are accessible to all users and that everyone can access the same information regardless of barriers or ability.

We already make several of our research datasets available for wider use via the UK Data Archive, and will be continuing to upload raw data from our core research projects as and when this is available.

As a public sector body it is a legal requirement that our website meets accessibility requirements, and we have been working for some time on ensuring that this is the case – not least in our Statistics and Research Hub, which is where all of our research, data and evidence is published and stored. We require all of our research partners to provide accessible content and we will be continuing to develop accessible ways to share our work.

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Evidence theme 6 - Illegal gambling and crime
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