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New local public health pathfinder in North West

The Greater Manchester Combined Authority has announced that it will deliver a programme of work which underpins the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, supported by funding approved by the Gambling Commission.

Ten local authorities will work together to increase support for those experiencing harm, improve prevention programmes across the region, collect evidence of the impact of interventions and share best practice as part of a gambling harm reduction group.

As part of enforcement action taken against gambling operators for regulatory breaches, the operator can offer to make a payment in lieu of a financial penalty to be spent on socially responsible purposes. A full list of organisations that have received regulatory settlements for socially responsible purposes has also been published.

Spotlight on councils and public health in the latest National Strategy newsletter

This month’s newsletter highlights some of the significant work underway and more detail behind progress being made by partners to reduce gambling harms through implementing the National Strategy.   In particular, the newsletter focuses on the range of innovative and varied approaches that Public health teams and local authorities across Great Britain are taking to implementing the Strategy and make real progress towards preventing gambling harm. 

Updates on the National Strategy to reduce gambling harms

If you are interested in signing up to the latest developments on the National Strategy please email communications@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

Ban on gambling on credit cards

From 14 April 2020 gambling businesses will be banned from allowing consumers in Great Britain to use credit cards to gamble. The ban, which will apply to all online and offline gambling products with the exception of non-remote lotteries, will provide a significant layer of additional protection to vulnerable people

24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online. UK Finance estimate that 800,000 consumers use credit cards to gamble.  Separate research undertaken by the Commission shows that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers – with even more at some risk of harm.

ASA report on children’s exposure to gambling (and other age restricted) adverts

In December the Advertising Standards Authority published figures showing rates of children’s exposure to age-restricted TV ads, i.e. alcohol, gambling and food and soft drink products which are high in fat, salt or sugar.

The report covers 2008-2018 and shows a decline, since 2013, in children’s exposure to TV ads for gambling:

  • Number of gambling ads seen by children on TV has fallen to 3.2 per week in 2018 from 4.4. in 2013.
  • Gambling ads made up less than 2% of all the TV ads that children saw on average every year between 2008 and 2017. This rose to 2.2% in 2018.
  • Children’s exposure to gambling ads, relative to adults’, has fallen year-on-year from 38.6% in 2008 to 20.4% in 2018.  Children saw an average of one gambling ad on TV for every five seen by adults in 2018.
  • The majority of the TV gambling adverts seen by children since 2011 are for bingo, lotteries and scratchcards.
  • Children’s exposure to sports-related gambling was highest in 2011 (1 ad per week) and lowest in 2017 (0.4 ads per week). In 2018, children saw 0.7 sports betting ads per week. 

New survey questions developed to understand gambling harms experienced by children and young people

GambleAware commissioned Ipsos MORI to develop and test as series of new questions aimed at identifying and better measuring the types of  harms experienced by children and young people resulting from their own gambling and from the gambling of others. The questions will be included in this year’s Young People and Gambling Survey.

Independent advice on actions to reduce online gambling harm

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and the Digital Advisory Panel have published recommendations on steps the Commission should consider for making online gambling safer.

These recommendations include developing a better understanding of the link between game design and gambling harms, trialling new approaches to harm education through evaluation and information sharing and engaging with consumers who have gambled online to understand their experiences and help drive change.

Online multi operators self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP

By 31 March all online gambling operators must participate in the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP.  The scheme will allow consumers to self-exclude from online operators with one request rather than from each operator individually. Although the vast majority of operators are already participating in GAMSTOP, with over 200 online operators this will make the coverage comprehensive and will make access to self-exclusion much simpler for those who wish to be prevented from online gambling.

New working groups to raise standards and reduce gambling harm

We have announced the formation of three industry working groups to tackle key challenges as part of a drive to make gambling safer.

Led by senior leaders in the gambling industry the three collaboration groups will focus on

  • Game and product design  - to produce an effective Industry Code for responsible product and game design
  • Advertising technology  - to explore and quickly accelerate opportunities to reduce the amount of advertising seen by children, young people and vulnerable adults.
  • High value customer incentives  - to gamble to look at how the existing rules about the use VIP incentives can be strengthened.

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 with your compliance manager to gambling premises or alcohol licensed premises, undertaking test purchasing or receiving some gambling training then please contact your local compliance manager.  

Policing Strategy for Scotland

Police Scotland published updated policing priorities in December to ensure the service responds to future demands covering the next six years. The revised strategic police priorities (SPPs), followed extensive consultation over the summer and autumn, and reflect developments and progress in police operations and governance.

The revised SPPs include one on partnerships which involved working “collaboratively to keep communities safe, sharing a collective responsibility to deliver preventative services that improve outcomes for individuals, increase resilience and address vulnerability.”


Next: Consultations