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Photo of Commission head of evidence assurance and evaluation David Taylor, alongside the blog title

Evaluating the impact of the Gambling Act Review

Our head of evidence assurance and evaluation David Taylor, talks through the evaluation thinking ahead of potential changes in connection with the Gambling Act Review.

Posted 19 March 2024 by David Taylor

The Gambling Act Review (opens in new tab) sets out the commitment from both government and the Gambling Commission to consult on a significant number of proposed changes to the gambling regulation landscape spanning a range of diverse topics. These include consultations on rules around when and how gambling companies interact with consumers, rules around the content of gambling products and their availability in both the land-based and remote environments, and much more. The Gambling Commission and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are responsible for leading the implementation of many of these changes subject to our consultation processes - but our involvement will not end when any changes are implemented.

The Commission and DCMS also need to monitor and evaluate the measures that are implemented carefully, given the number and scale of the possible changes. We need to establish if they are being delivered effectively, understand if they are achieving their intended outcomes and impacts, identify any unintended consequences, and capture learning to inform the implementation of future policy changes. The evaluation process is important, and planning for the evaluations is already well underway.

Evaluating a package of potential measures like this will not be easy, which is why we must take a proportionate approach. The outcomes and impacts of some measures which are taken forward will need to be evaluated individually to explore whether each delivers the expected changes both for consumers and industry – but they should also be evaluated as a package to understand the overall effectiveness of the review, consultation processes and implementation of the measures decided on following consultation.

To help us with this work, the Commission and DCMS have procured NatCen to help us to design a framework outlining options for process and impact evaluations, practical recommendations for implementing our evaluations, and data required to monitor and evaluate outcomes and impacts. Drawing on NatCen’s evaluation expertise will be vital in identifying the most appropriate approach. It is possible that this could include identifying opportunities for conducting evaluation trials once final policy positions and implementation dates are decided upon following the consultation process.

We’ll continue to provide details of our evaluation approach through policy consultations, consultation response documents and through publishing other updates.

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