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The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board’s advice on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms 2019–2022

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board’s advice on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms 2019–2022


Any strategy aimed at reducing gambling-related harms needs a strong and effective prevention plan. Prevention means undertaking a range of planned activities aimed at reducing risks or threats to health and preventing gambling-related harms from occurring in the first place.

Our understanding of best practice is that as well as enforcement action by the regulator, it should involve preventive measures aimed at reducing harms and risks of harm through mandatory standards, guidance and awareness raising.20

Key principles are:

  • prevention is broader than regulation. Regulation of products and industry practice are important levers in prevention. But regulation alone is not enough to reduce harms. It needs to sit alongside a range of other levers, involving multiple agencies
  • effective prevention should include a broad range of activities, including some targeted at individuals, some at high risk groups and some at the whole population. This is because there are multiple factors influencing the generation of gambling-related harms – industry practices, the way gambling is promoted and regulated, the way gambling norms and practices are shaped within communities and peer groups, and vulnerabilities among individuals which interact with these influences
  • the GB governments should take ownership of a coherent prevention strategy to give focus to gambling-related harms and create impetus for action. Collectively, governments have the power and authority to engage with a range of others needed to implement the strategy - healthcare and social work professionals, banks and other financial institutions, schools and educators as well as the voluntary sector and the gambling industry. We welcome recognition of the need to work collaboratively to tackle gambling-related harms at source in the NHS (England) Long Term Plan.21


20 A working model for anticipatory regulation (opens in a new tab), NESTA, November 2017

21 NHS Long Term Plan, NHS, January 2019

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Recommended prevention activities
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