Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Board minutes for 10 July 2019

Meeting details


Marjorie Sykes,
Friends House,
173-177 Euston Road,


10.15 – 14.00


  • Louise Baxter (LB)
  • Shane Carmichael (SC)
  • David Forrest (DF)
  • Anna van der Gaag (AVDG) (Chair)
  • Ian Gilmore (IG)
  • Rachel Lampard (RL)
  • Simon Tanner (ST)
  • Heather Wardle (HW)

In attendance:

  • Marc Etches (ME)
  • Helen Rhodes (HR)

Staff names other than the Leadership Team have been redacted.


  • Hermine Graham (HG)

Actions and status

Minutes and actions

Apologies and declarations of interest

AVDG welcomed Board members to the meeting and extended a special welcome to new Board appointment SC. SC has joined the Board to provide additional experience of strategy implementation and of regulation.

There were no declarations of interest. Apologies were noted for HG.

Minutes and matters arising from 23 May 2019: ABSG 19 03 (01)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved and there were no matters arising. All actions from the previous meeting were in progress or complete.

Introductions and Horizon Scanning

AVDG set the scene for the meeting and reflected on events and meetings that have happened since the last Board meeting. On 24 June the National Health Service England announced three new treatment provisions to open plus a dedicated service for children in London, with further expansion of treatment provision planned. On 2 July the five largest industry operators pledged an additional 1% contribution towards treatment, data sharing on problem gambling and increased spend on safer gambling advertising estimated at 60 million by 2023. This will include continuing funding at 0.1% for GambleAware to support its existing treatment commitments and research programme.

The Board noted that Sheffield Coroner’s Inquest into the suicide of Jack Ritchie was ongoing, and that the outcome was of significant interest to future work on safer gambling. AVDG noted that the coroner is considering whether to invoke Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights Act – the right to life – as part of this case. The outcome is expected at the end of August 2019

HW and ME updated the Board on their recent attendance at the APPG on Gambling Related Harm.

AVDG and HW will be attending the Lords Select Committee on Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry on 23 July.

AVDG discussed the need for future recruitment to be planned to ensure that new skills are added to the Board.

AVDG had discussed proposed changes to the ABSG with the CEO of the Commission and he was supportive of the direction of travel.


Plan recruitment activities for new Board members – agreeing the skills and expertise ABSG requires and setting up a transparent recruitment process.

Strategy update: developing the implementation plan: ABSG 19 04 (02)

HR introduced the paper and explained the aim was to obtain ABSG’s views on areas where the National Strategy’s implementation plan could be strengthened, if there are any gaps that need to be filled and their views on governance structure.

Board members welcomed the approach of national coordination but raised concerns that more clarity was needed on overall accountability and leadership.

Board members agreed that co-designing effective working groups with experts by experience and academics would help to support the implementation of the strategy. More work is needed to develop structures to govern this effectively.

Board members also highlighted the need for more work on measures of success.


Carry out further work on ways to improve engagement with experts by experience and on the development of metrics and indicators to measure progress and success of the National Strategy.

Ways of Working: ABSG 19 04 (03)

(REDACTED) introduced the paper and set out the aims of exploring how a ‘hub and spoke’ model could be used to access views from a wider range of stakeholders and experts, and how this could add value to ABSG’s work and inputs to the National Strategy.

The Board discussed a wide range of possible options that would help ABSG gain a broader range of evidence to help them provide high quality advice. The main priority is to create structures where others feel able to engage, such as experts by experience and academics. Initial steps would be to invite external stakeholders to have a conversation to co-design an approach that would achieve this.

Further discussions need to take place to develop a work plan that will help plan and prioritise the actions ABSG takes and ensure that its advice is provided at the right time to make an impact.


Development of a work plan to co-ordinate the development of ABSG advice on priority topics and set up sessions with stakeholders to co-design approaches to engagement with a wider range of experts – particularly academics and experts by experience.

Online harms: ABSG 19 04 (04)

(REDACTED) introduced the paper and gave an update on how the online harms paper has progressed since the last board meeting. TL informed Board that the Gambling Commission will be attending the DCMS Select Committee to give advice, and the ABSG online harms paper will be published on the ABSG website shortly thereafter and no later than 24 July.

The Board considered the next steps to progress work in this area. It was agreed that the Board needed to increase their knowledge on what the Digital Advisory Panel does and how to make use of its expertise.

HW informed the Board that she had attended the Childrens’ Media Conference, where she had met stakeholders who were keen to work with ABSG on furthering this agenda.

LB noted that there needed to be further work in relation to fraud and scams, and that the White Paper was very broad on these issues


  • draft advice to the Commission on what further action it could take as a regulator to address online harms
  • actions to be taken to improve understanding and co-ordination with the Commission’s Digital Advisory Panel
  • circulate Gambling Commission paper on in-play betting
  • explore other actions to improve the Board’s understanding of digital innovations within the gambling industry and supporting sectors.

Any other business

ST gave an update on the most recent GambleAware Education and Treatment Committee meeting.

It was likely that the Commission would be seeking ABSG’s advice on the next stage of the Fourth National Lottery Competition in September.

Safer Gambling Team: Update Report: ABSG 19 04 (05)

This paper was provided for information only.

GambleAware: Update Report: ABSG 19 04 (06)

This paper was provided for information only.

Is this page useful?
Back to top