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Terms of reference for the ABSG

Read the Gambling Commission's terms of reference for the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG).

Published: 1 March 2017

Last updated: 25 April 2023

This version was printed or saved on: 19 May 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/absg/guide/terms-of-reference-for-the-absg

Overview: ## Role

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) provides independent advice to the Gambling Commission on issues related to safer gambling and prevention of harms to inform regulation. Its advice is based on expertise and insights from academia, research, and other relevant disciplines inside and outside of gambling.

The scope of the ABSG’s role includes:


Topics for advice are articulated through a workplan, which is agreed between the Gambling Commission’s Executive Team and the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG). The workplan will be updated as required to reflect new and emerging requirements for advice. The workplan may cover topics relevant across all of the Commission’s strategic objectives.

The ABSG’s work will consider and take account of any particular needs in Scotland, England and Wales.


The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling's (ABSG) values are:

The ABSG members will adhere the seven principles of public life (opens in new tab), a code of conduct and a managing conflicts of interest policy. Declarations of interest will be published on the website.


The Chair and members of the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) are appointed by the Gambling Commission. They are appointed as individuals based on their expertise and experience. They do not serve on the Board to represent any other body or organisation.

Members of the ABSG are recruited to bring a wide range of experience, including:

The Chair and members of the ABSG will serve terms of up to three-years and will serve for a maximum of six years.

Board members will have annual reviews with the ABSG Chair.


The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) meet approximately every two months. In between meetings ABSG contribute advice as required through correspondence and meetings with Gambling Commission colleagues. Meetings will be predominantly online, with in-person meetings held once or twice a year.

The ABSG meetings are routinely attended by relevant Commission staff to seek advice and input to the Commission’s work. Occasionally, sessions may be held in private if the Chair decides this is appropriate.

When the ABSG is developing advice on specific topics, additional academics or professional experts may be invited to join meetings to share their views and discuss relevant evidence.

The ABSG is considered quorate when no less than 4 members are present.

Minutes of the ABSG meetings are published on the website.

The ABSG will also provide input to Commission project teams and participation in Commission working groups. Time limited groups may be formed to develop specific pieces of advice.

Reporting and publication

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) reports to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Executive Group, and the Board of the Gambling Commission.

Formal written advice from the ABSG will be published, alongside the Commission’s response.

Recognising that the ABSG will often be involved in the early stages of projects – meaning publication of outputs will often take some time. The ABSG will also produce blogs, thought pieces and other accessible materials to help create transparency about its work and advice.

The ABSG has no decision-making role and will provide advice collectively.

The Chair is the sole public spokesperson for the ABSG. If there are exceptions to this, it will be agreed with the Chair of the ABSG and the Commission in advance.