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Board minutes for 14 July 2020

Meeting details


Remote meeting


10.00 – 13.30


  • Louise Baxter (LB)
  • Shane Carmichael (SC)
  • Cath Cooney (CC)
  • David Forrest (DF)
  • Anna van der Gaag (AVDG) (Chair)
  • Ian Gilmore (IG)
  • Hermine Graham (HG)
  • Rachel Lampard (RL)
  • Jane West (JW)

In attendance:

  • Ben Haden (BH)
  • Helen Rhodes (HR)

Staff names other than the Leadership Team have been redacted

Actions and status

Arrange for ABSG members to be invited to workshops to help develop performance measures for the Gambling Commission and its impact.

Minutes and actions

Apologies and declarations of interest

AVDG welcomed Board Members to the meeting and asked for notifications of any conflicts of interest.

Minutes and matters arising from January 2020

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. There were no further comments on the minutes.

Introductions, Chairs’ Update and Horizon Scanning

AVDG thanked board members for their contributions to the development of the progress report and provided a brief outline of the discussions that had taken place since its publication at the end of June. AVDG also updated the group on the recent RET meeting which also took place in June and the response to recent reports on gambling and its regulation from the Public Accounts Committee and the House of Lords.

Discussion with Dr Steve Sharman – University of East London

Dr Steve Sharman joined the meeting to talk about areas of research relevant to the current worth of ABSG. He outlined some of the research techniques used at the University of East London – including the use of virtual reality simulations for conducting psychological research. The discussion also covered the challenges of setting targets to measure impact and some of the options which could be explored.

Steve also raised the recent letter from GB based academics published in the British Medical Journal to secretaries of state calling for a levy to fund independent research in relation to gambling. The group discussed the potential this would create for research councils to expand their funding of research on gambling. The need for more data to be made available was also highlighted as a key issue in expanding research options.

Progress Report

AVDG briefed the group in more detail on the feedback received on the progress report – in particular, the range of views expressed from different stakeholders.

The group received an update on the recent implementation group meeting which had taken place in Wales. The challenges created by Covid were acknowledged, as was the potential to ensure addressing gambling harms is included in plans for recovery.

The group were also updated on the Commission’s plans to develop performance indicators and metrics – which was welcomed in line with the recommendations set out in the progress report. The group agreed that they would provide more detailed support to the Commission as this work develops. The group talked about the need for metrics, both for the performance of the Gambling Commission, as well as for the wider impact of the National Strategy – which will involve actions from all partners in its implementation.


Arrange for ABSG members to be invited to workshops to help develop performance measures for the Gambling Commission and its impact.

Update on workplan

The group were updated on the workplan priorities for the rest of the year. This provided an opportunity to focus the group on priority issues for developing advice.

Update on Covid response

The group were updated on the Commission’s recent data publication on the impact of Covid on consumers and the Gambling Industry.

Any other Business

One member of the Board queried the need to for the Board to remain aware of developments within the gambling industry – including the role of visits to operators for new Board members and the need to balance hearing from a wider range of stakeholders.

AVDG closed the meeting.

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