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Board minutes for 14 May 2020

Meeting details


Remote meeting


10.15 – 14.00


  • Louise Baxter (LB)
  • 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)

Staff names other than the Leadership Team have been redacted.


  • Shane Carmichael (SC)

Actions and status

Complete next draft of progress report and share with ABSG members for comments

Minutes and actions

Apologies and declarations of interest

AVDG welcomed Board Members to the meeting. AVDG explained how she would be approaching the chairing of the meeting being held remotely. Apologies were received from SC.

Minutes and matters arising from January 2020

The minutes of the previous meeting had been approved and published prior to the meeting. There were no further comments on the minutes.

Introductions, Chairs’ Update and Horizon Scanning

AVDG updated on her recent meetings with stakeholders, and provided a brief overview on the impact of the pandemic and responses from the industry, media and GC’s COVID tracker. She made reference to the recent Public Accounts Committee evidence session on 27 April, where the issue of measurement of effectiveness had featured strongly in MPs’ questions and NMcA had made reference to working with ABSG to ‘strengthen our evaluation’. AVDG updated the Board on the GC’s work to establish the Experts by Experience Group and thanked Tim Livesley, Ben Haden and Cath Cooney for their contributions to this work, which was progressing well.

Discussion with Phil Newall – University of Central Queensland

Dr Philip Newall joined the meeting via video link from Australia. Phil talked to the group about his previous research on links between gambling behaviours and harms and consumers understanding of safety labels and other product information.

The discussion focused on areas of the progress report where this research was most relevant. The potential use of operator league tables was discussed, including possible metrics that could be used.

It was agreed that involving academics in the Board’s discussions was a useful was of broadening the evidence that could be taken into account in the work of ABSG. AVDG would explore opportunities for other academics available to join future meetings, and thanked Phil for his contribution to the discussion.

Progress Report

The main focus of the discussion was the progress report on year one of the National Strategy. Members of ABSG discussed their views on each aspect of the report – covering delivery, prevention and education, and treatment and support.

A significant amount of time was spent reviewing the section on metrics to measure impact. The proposal for an operator league table was discussed in more detail, with the group reflecting on their discussion with Dr Phil Newall. The group also discussed the recommendation of an operator league table in more detail.


Complete next draft of progress report and share with ABSG members for comments

NB: The Progress Report (opens in new tab) was published on 26 June.

Update on COVID-19 response and Experts by Experience Forum

The group were updated on the actions taken by the Gambling Commission in response to the COVID lockdown. This included reminding operators about their responsibilities to interact with customers and ensure they were not suffering harm as a result of their gambling. The group also received an update on the actions being taken by the Gambling Commission to collect data from the industry and understand the impact of the lockdown on people’s gambling behaviour.

Any other Business

There was no additional business. AVDG closed the meeting.

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