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Two new members join the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG)

David and Steve have been appointed to ensure ABSG can bring the most up to date expert advice to the next phase of work on the reforms set out in the Gambling Act review.

Anna van der Gaag, Chair of ABSG, said: “I am delighted that David and Steve have joined us and they have already made an impact on what we offer to the Commission. They bring huge expertise and strong networks on gambling products and practices, from the inter section between gaming and gambling, virtual reality products, utilisation of big data sets to better understand gambling behaviour and gambling harms. If there are two certainties about the future of gambling, it is that products will expand, and markets become ever more global. As a Board, we will seek to keep our advice as cutting edge as possible.”

Dr David Zendle, is a behavioural data scientist and a Lecturer in Computer Science at the University of York. He is the author of several key references on the convergence of video games and gambling, including the world’s most highly cited paper on the topic of loot boxes.

David is involved in building evidence-based policy into consumer behaviour and financial harms across a variety of domains, and his most recent work focuses on the use of large-scale behavioural data in understanding consumer harms and regulatory efficacy.

David said, “It is a huge privilege to join ABSG at this time. The advent of big gambling data presents an enormous challenge for the Commission, as does the data-driven mandate incorporated into contemporary gambling reforms. I am humbled to join such a talented and expert board, and excited to be advising the Gambling Commission about how to best turn these challenges into opportunities for regulatory excellence and harm minimisation.”

Dr Steve Sharman is a psychologist and Research Fellow at the National Addiction Centre, King's College London, funded by a UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship.

Prior to this, Steve completed his BSc in Psychology at the University of East London (UEL), and MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL, before completing a PhD in Experimental Cognitive Psychology at the University of Cambridge in 2015. He then worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Lincoln, and then at UEL, funded by a Society for the Study of Addiction (SSA) Academic Fellowship.

Steve has a wide range of interests across gambling research. The current focus of his research is on the interaction between product, person and environment, using virtual reality.

Steve said, “I’m delighted to join the ABSG; we still have work to do, to create and stabilise a satisfactory regulatory environment in Great Britain, so I am pleased to have the opportunity to have some input.”

Members of ABSG are appointed by the Gambling Commission.

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