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Local government scrutiny and gambling harms

The Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) has launched a new research project to review and consider new ways to improve local government’s scrutiny of activity to tackle gambling harms. 

Local authorities through their licensing roles, are an essential part of the system of gambling regulation alongside national regulation and public health activity. Local government scrutiny has a vital role to play in supporting and providing oversight of local activity to tackle gambling harms across a range of partners.

As identified in the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, local action is successful when it is collaborative and evidence-led. This project, funded by an approved regulatory settlement, will bring together examples and evidence from around the country, drawing on existing scrutiny activity and learning through practical work in three councils,

Are you a councillor or an officer for a local authority which tackles gambling harm?

Tell CfPS how your scrutiny committee supports this work

CfPS is calling for local authorities to provide details of scrutiny work related to local strategies and activities to tackle gambling harms. Expressions of interest are also sought from councils wishing to take part in local inquiry days providing an opportunity to access CfPS expert support and facilitation to explore in more detail local activity and identify areas where scrutiny could add value.  The insight and learning will be shared via national learning events and a new publication. The guidance will be published in Summer 2020.

To share your council’s experience of using its scrutiny committee to tackle problems created by gambling, please email katie.grigg@cfps.org.uk

Gambling participation annual report published

We have published data onconsumer gambling behaviour in Great Britain in 2019, based on quarterly telephone and online tracking surveys.  The report includes data on participation in gambling activities in the past four weeks, online gambling behaviour, awareness of gambling management tools and perceptions and attitudes towards gambling as well as data on the prevalence of problem, moderate-risk and low-risk gambling.

Headline findings for the year to December 2019 include:

  • 47% of people have gambled in the past four weeks (32% if you exclude those that just played the National Lottery);
  • 21% of people have gambled on-line in the past four weeks;
  • 0.5% of people aged 16+ in England are classified as problem gamblers according to the PGSI or DSM-IV (2018);
  • 29% of respondents agreed that gambling is conducted fairly and can be trusted;
  • 43% of respondents think that gambling is associated with crime.

Guidance to help consumers limit gambling-related content on Twitter

We have partnered with Twitter to create guidance aimed at supporting users who want to limit the amount of gambling-related messaging and adverts they see, by adjusting settings and features with individual accounts. 

Investigating the interface between gambling and gaming

Gambleaware has commissioned research to investigate the interface between gaming and gambling, looking at the relationship between players’ mental health and wellbeing, and purchasing of chance-based in-game items (aka ‘loot boxes’). The project will complete in June 2021.

ICE world regulatory briefing

Neil McArthur Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission recently addressed attendees at the ICE event in London, focusing on three issues.

  • why we need to make gambling safer;
  • what I see as the opportunities to make gambling safer and the risks if those opportunities are not taken;
  • and how I think a change of mindset can help us – regulators, operators, advisers and suppliers – make gambling safer.

IOL week of action

We are pleased to be supporting the Institute of Licensing’s national licensing week again this year (15– 19 June).  If your LA/local police are interested in undertaking some joint visits that week to gambling premises or alcohol licensed premises, undertaking test purchasing or receiving some gambling training then please contact your compliance manager point of contact.  


Next: Consultations