Board minutes for 22 January 2020
The King’s Fund,
11-13 Cavendish Square,
09.15 – 16.00
- 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)
- Simon Tanner (ST)
- Heather Wardle (HW)
- Jane West (JW)
- Tim Miller (TM)
- Ben Haden (BH)
Staff names other than the Leadership Team have been redacted.
- Helen Rhodes (HR)
Actions and status
- Future board meeting minutes to be shared for sign-off within a week and made available as soon as possible on the ABSG website.
- In progress
- Share more detail with board members on the outcomes to be delivered by the challenge projects.
- In progress
- Set up meetings and workshops for ABSG to explore evidence from Assurance Statements, develop its understanding of projects in the National Strategy implementation plan.
- In progress
- Conflicts policy to be updated and to go through sign-off process with the Gambling Commission before being published on the ABSG website.
- In progress
- Workplan to be developed and discussed again at the March Board meeting.
- In progress
Minutes and actions
Apologies and declarations of interest
AVDG welcomed Board Members to the meeting. Apologies were noted for HR.
TM and BH were welcomed to the meeting. There were no declarations of interest.
Minutes and matters arising from November 2019
The minutes of the previous meeting were approved and there were no new matters arising. It was agreed that in the future minutes should be circulated for sign-off within a week of Board meetings and published as soon as possible thereafter.
Future board meeting minutes to be shared for sign-off within a week and made available as soon as possible on the ABSG website.
Introductions, Chairs’ Update and Horizon Scanning
AVDG explained the purpose of the day and reflected on the value of meeting with members of the Gambling Commission’s Digital Advisory Panel held on the previous day. Although more work is needed to establish appropriate ways of working, the development of shared expertise with the Digital Panel was recognised as valuable to the work of ABSG.
ABSG’s work in 2019: Role and purpose
AVDG noted that it was a good time to review ways of working as there were significant changes in relation to reducing gambling harms in the UK and it was important that ABSG kept pace with the change.
AVDG noted that ABSG’s core role was to continue to advise the Gambling Commission on the implementation of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. Data and evidence was vital to this task – this includes evidence from experts by experience.
TM spoke about the Gambling Commission’s current role in the National Strategy and its future focus on safer gambling. TM talked about the effort that has gone into engaging a broader range of organisations into the work of reducing gambling harms – such as public health bodies, the NHS and the financial sector.
TM also noted that the Gambling Commission needed to continue to challenge itself to ensure it continues to do all it can to reduce gambling harms. This will include building on positive steps taken in the past year on customer interaction, age verification and credit cards.
TM also explained that the Commission wanted its expert groups to play a key role in its work and to increase the impact of their advice. This is demonstrated in the Gambling Commission’s commitment to publish a response to the advice it receives from ABSG. TM clarified that the role of its expert groups was to advise the Commission, which will sometimes mean they need to provide robust challenge. But the advisory groups were not established to hold the Gambling Commission to account – accountability is already provided through their Board, DCMS and Government.
Expert input to reducing harms will also be helped by ensuring experts by experience also contribute more to co-creating approaches to reducing gambling harms. ABSG welcomed these developments in relation to recognising the value of lived experience.
TM noted that the Gambling Commission wanted ABSG to have a clear workplan, which would provide clarity on what topics the Commission needed advice on. The workplan will be set by the Gambling Commission – but this should also include space for ABSG to consider the priority topics it considered the Commission should be thinking about.
Industry challenges – update from Gambling Commission
This paper was provided for information to update ABSG on this work. BH explained the approach that the Gambling Commission is taking to the challenges it has set the industry – in particular, ensuring there is clarity on the outcomes these activities will deliver. The following points were noted:
- the focus of the activities on the right priorities issues to reduce gambling harms
- risks related to the role given to the industry and how these will be managed to ensure the right outcomes are delivered for consumers and the public
- the presence of academic knowledge on video games design and value that could be obtained by more engagement with academics
- the importance of the role to be played by experts by experience in the development of these challenges. It was noted that the priorities for these activities have been informed by feedback from by experts by experience, and more formal opportunities are to be developed so they can contribute over the lifetime of these activities.
Share more detail with board members on the outcomes to be delivered by the challenge projects.
Year 1 progress report
ABSG members discussed the scope of the progress report and what evidence would be available for it to base its conclusions upon. It was agreed that the report should focus on identifying:
- the key successes of the first year
- the main gaps in progress
- the opportunities to build on existing strengths
- the barriers to progress, and how these can be addressed.
The group agreed that the progress report should also comment on the governance and implementation arrangements for the National Strategy. It was agreed that the progress report should also consider, as far as evidence allows, an assessment of the progress made reducing key forms of gambling harms.
ABSG members split into two groups to discuss in more detail each of the priority actions: Prevention and Education, and Treatment and Support.
The groups discussed the next steps to develop the progress report. This included identifying what type of information and support they would need from the Gambling Commission and delivery partners in the National Strategy.
Set up meetings and workshops for ABSG to explore evidence from Assurance Statements and develop its understanding of projects in the National Strategy the implementation plan.
ABSG’s ways of working
ABSG discussed the revised conflicts policy that will be implemented following the meeting, subject to sign-off from the Gambling Commission - who carries responsibility for the governance documents for its expert groups.
AVDG talked about the need for ABSG’s policies on conflicts to change as the landscape it works in evolves. AVDG noted that ABSG should be a model for transparency and be part of the change they want to see more widely.
AVDG reiterated the importance of Board Members declaring their interests so an up to date register could be maintained. This would allow AVDG to ensure that any conflicts are managed in relation to agenda items or ABSG’s discussions more generally. The group noted the approach to managing conflicts at a recent World Health Organisation Conference and talked about similar approaches in other areas of public health.
Conflicts policy to be updated and to go through sign-off process with the Gambling Commission before being published on the ABSG website.
ABSG’s work in 201/21
The Gambling Commission will be developing a workplan setting out the priority topics that it will require advice from ABSG in 2010/21. AVDG introduced this item, and invited ABSG members to use the opportunity to think about the priority issues they recommend be included in the ABSG workplan.
Workplan to be developed and brought to the March Board meeting
Any other business
AVDG thanked Board members for the hard work throughout the day and over the past year. No additional other business was raised.
Safer Gambling Team: Update Report: ABSG 19 05 (09)
This paper was provided for information.