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Board minutes for 6 November 2019

Meeting details


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


10.15 – 14.00


  • 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)

In attendance:

  • Marc Etches (ME)
  • Tim Miller (TM)
  • Zoe Osmond (ZO)
  • Helen Rhodes (HR)

Staff names other than the Leadership Team have been redacted.


  • Jane West (JW)

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 CC. CC has joined the Board to provide public health experience and expertise. CC will also bring perspectives from Scotland which will be valuable in helping ABSG to support the Commission on implementation of the National Strategy.

AVDG also noted the appointment of JW who has joined the Board with a strong background in public health and research. JW was unable to attend this meeting as it clashed with a prior commitment.

AVDG reminded the Board of the importance of declaring any relevant interests at each meeting. HW reminded us of her interest in longitudinal research and also noted that PHE have asked her for feedback on its review of gambling harms which should be published in Spring 2020.

Minutes and matters arising from 10 September 2019: ABSG 19 05 (01)

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved.

Board discussed the key findings set out in the APPG interim report on online gambling.

The Board also reflected on recent advice provided to the Fourth National Lottery Competition team.

Introductions, Chairs’ Update and Horizon Scanning: ABSG 19 06 (02)

AVDG set the scene for the meeting and discussed events and meetings that have happened since the last Board meeting.

AVDG reflected on the House of Lords Select Committee that was attended by experts of experience and which focused on social harms, lack of treatment and the accessibility of gambling online.

The Board also welcomed the invitation from the Secretary of State for the Gambling Commission to provide formal advice on the levy, which ABSG will provide input to.

Ways of Working update: ABSG 19 06 (03)

TL introduced the paper which set out the reasons for moving secretariat support to the Gambling Commission’s Insight Team. This move is intended to ensure that ABSG’s advice can feed into a wider range of Commission activity to make gambling safer. It will also allow more direct access to research and industry specialists.

The paper also highlighted work being carried out by the Gambling Commission to involve a range of stakeholders in the National Strategy – including experts by experience, academics and the third sector. ABSG’s role supporting this work was discussed. The Board also discussed challenges that the Gambling Commission has set for the industry and how it could contribute to these as they progress.


Further work to embed new working arrangements with ABSG provided with secretariat support via the Gambling Commission’s Insight Team.

Developing advice on the statutory levy: ABSG 19 06 (04)

ABSG members discussed their views on a levy and how to approach their advice on this topic to the Gambling Commission. Topics included: what benefits a levy would create, how a new approach could be effectively administered, and what steps could be taken to make progress in the short term.


Formal advice to be developed by ABSG and submitted to the Gambling Commission.

Update on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

HR gave a verbal update on the National Strategy and explained that the current focus was on getting the right forums in place and what this means for existing groups. HR informed the Board that it is creating greater collaboration and that there are plans for engagement with different stakeholders.

Lessons from scam prevention: ABSG 19 06 (05)

LB introduced the paper and explained that the purpose of the paper was to help Board members think about lessons that can be learnt from scams prevention, and how they could be transferable to work to reduce gambling harms. Board members noted that getting the language right is important as this helps messages reach consumers more effectively. Board members also reflected on lessons related to opportunities to educate consumers of risks and make more use of people with lived experience in the way schemes are developed and implemented.

The Board also agreed that in the future it would be helpful if other Board members prepared similar papers highlighting applicable lessons from their own areas of expertise.

Bet Regret – update on campaign and evaluation

GambleAware gave ABSG members an update on the Bet Regret campaign and lessons learnt to date.

Any other business

There were no further items for discussion.

Safer Gambling Team: Update Report: ABSG 19 06 (06)

This paper was provided for information.

GambleAware: Update Report: ABSG 19 06 (07)

This paper was provided for information.

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