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The Commission’s actions to reduce gambling harms

In delivering its regulatory role in the two years since Strategy’s launch, the Commission has made gambling safer through a range of preventive and reactive measures. These contribute to both the prevention and education strategic priority as well as the ‘support’ part of the treatment and support strategic priority. These include:

  • strengthened online age verification to prevent children gambling online
  • banned credit cards for online gambling
  • made online games safer through updated and enhance technical standards
  • banned reverse withdrawals
  • strengthened rules on so-called VIP schemes
  • made the GAMSTOP national self-exclusion scheme mandatory for all online gambling
  • ensured that voluntary funding to support research, prevention and treatment of gambling harms is targeted only to eligible bodies.

In collaboration with the gambling industry and the ASA we have also issued new rules on the use of ad-tech and protecting vulnerable consumers. The Commission has strengthened its engagement with people with lived experience, both directly through our Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP), and with a range of bodies providing a voice to those with lived experience and indeed those who place lived experience at the heart of delivery of projects to reduce harms.

This work sits alongside the actions delivered by stakeholders, and we have continued to work closely with the many organisations working to reduce gambling harms to update the map of implementation actions every six months.

There are some areas where work is ongoing or progress may have been slow. The Covid-19 pandemic has placed and continues to place significant pressures on all partners involved, from local governments via public health teams through to front line services and delivery, although restrictions on how we interact have also led to more innovation in service delivery, stakeholder engagement and widened collaboration.

Treatment sits outside the Commission’s remit, although we have been able to support the treatment and support aims of the National Strategy through collaboration on the role of the industry in signposting to treatment and in offering support tools such as self-exclusion. We also work with treatment partners on research, application of data in building our understanding of gambling harms.

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How the Commission will work to reduce gambling harms in 2021-22
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