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Board minutes for 23 May 2019

Meeting details


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


10.15 – 14.00


  • Louise Baxter (LB)
  • David Forrest (DF)
  • Anna van der Gaag (AVDG) (Chair)
  • Hermine Graham (HG)
  • 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.


  • Ian Gilmore (IG)

Actions and status

Minutes and actions

Apologies and declarations of interest

AVDG welcomed Board members to the meeting. There were no declarations of interest. Apologies were noted for IG.

Minutes and matters arising from 22 March 2019: RGSB 19 02 (01)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved but it was agreed that future minutes should contain more detail. 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, and it was noted that Board needs to think on how it can better engage with people of lived experience. HW was congratulated on her article in the British Medical Journal.

Future approach and ways of working: ABSG 19 03 (02)

AVDG introduced the paper and explained its aims. The Board then set out to review the purpose of the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling was and how this could be improved. The following was discussed:


  • critical friend to the Gambling Commission
  • to protect the vulnerable and reduce harm
  • to advise and monitor through informed, independent advice.


  • support and challenge the National Strategy
  • providing a balanced view and presenting it to allow others to make an informed decision
  • bring new insights to the Commission’s attention; give information on current topics of interest and areas of concern
  • two-way communication with stakeholders.


  • respond to requests from the Commission and give advice independently of that
  • inform on the Commission’s business plan
  • the Board brings a wide range of inputs but how can we engage better with others and have an outward facing presence?

Following on from this activity, the Board began to consider how it could broaden its experience, needs and ability, and how it could create relationships with other bodies to bring a wider range of inputs that are required.


AVDG and TL to provide more detail on how ABSG could work with other stakeholders to get the range of input it requires.

National Strategy implementation plan and governance arrangements

HR gave a verbal update on the development of the National Strategy implementation plan and on the delivery arrangements for the Strategy.

Online harms – Input to Gambling Commission response to Government White Paper: ABSG 19 03 (03)

Board were joined by sector specialists in the Insights Team from the Commission and a member of the UK Children's Charities' Coalition on Internet Safety. (REDACTED) introduced the paper and set out questions and issues for ABSG to consider on how to approach the advice it gives the Commission in response to the Government White Paper.

Board agreed it is important that this opportunity is taken to ensure that action is taken by a wide range of agencies who have a role to play in reducing gambling-related harms. It was noted that online harms are interconnected and that there are further levels of complexity. Board outlined their areas of concern which could be included in the advice, these concerns covered a wide range of themes that could affect children and young people and vulnerable adults.

Board was also concerned about a range of technologies that could lead to online harms.

Concluding remarks point out that this is not just about reactive or proactive regulation but that it is also about taking a public health approach to tackling online harms.

Any other business

There were no further items for discussion.

Safer Gambling Team: Update Report: ABSG 19 03 (04)

This paper was provided for information only and was not discussed.

GambleAware: Update Report: ABSG 19 03 (05)

This paper was provided for information only and was not discussed.

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