ABSG Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms – Year Two
2 - Background
Two parliamentary reports on gambling harm were published in 20202. These reports called for action to:
- protect consumers from harm
- strengthen enforcement
- improve use of data and address funding for research education and training.
As highlighted in this report, the Commission has been working alongside other partners to address the recommendations in these reports.
The first ABSG Progress Report was published in June 2020 – when the impact of Covid-19 was at an early stage. At the time of writing, lockdown measures were in the process of easing, and the impact of Covid-19 was still emerging. In addition to the huge loss of life, damage to economies and pressure on health and care services3, the pandemic has highlighted and amplified existing health, socio-economic, gender and race inequalities4. Disproportionate infection and death rates amongst Black, Asian and other minority ethnic groups5, a rise in domestic violence6 diminished mental health and wellbeing across the population7, and rising household debt89, have all been negative consequences10. Now, more than ever, there are tangible signs of the ‘fraying of the social safety net’11 which allows communities to support those most in need - unemployment, social isolation, stress amongst them12. These could all feature on the gambling harm pathway, either as triggers or as impacts13.
Year 2 key event timeline
Gambling Commission action - ABSG's Year One Progress Report
National Strategy partner action - Strategy Implementation Group for Scotland hold action planning session
Key event - Non-essential businesses re-open following first national lockdowns
Key event - Public Accounts Committee report on gambling regulation
Key event - House of Lords report on social and economic impact of the gambling industry.
National Strategy partner action - DCMS opens consultation on lootboxes in video games
Gambling Commission action - GC starts consultation on customer interaction and affordability
Key event - GB enters second national lockdowns
National Strategy partner action - Guidance published for financial sector on gambling vulnerability factors
National Strategy partner action - DCMS announce review of Gambling Act and change in age limits for the National Lottery
Key event - GB enters third national lockdowns
Gambling Commission action - GC announce outcome of consultation on safer games design
Gambling Commission action - GC launch Lived Experience Advisory Group to provide input on regulatory approach
2 These were: Report from the Public Accounts Committee (June 2020) (opens in new tab), House of Lords (opens in new tab) (July 2020)
3 Covid-19 one year on: how can the health and care system recover? (opens in new tab) Kings Fund, March 2021
4 Build Back Fairer: The Covid-19 Marmot Review. The Pandemic, Socioeconomic and Health Inequalities in England (opens in new tab), Marmot et al, Institute of Health Equity, 2020
5 COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes (opens in new tab), Public Health England, 2 June 2020
6 Domestic abuse during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, England and Wales: November 2020 (opens in new tab), Office of National Statistics, 25 November 2020
7 COVID-19: mental health and wellbeing surveillance report (opens in new tab), Public Health England, September 2020
8 Near the cliff-edge: how to protect households facing debt during COVID-19 (opens in new tab), Citizens Advice, May 2020
9 Client Report 2021, Christians Against Poverty, April 2021
10 Covid-19 Client data report (opens in new tab), Step Change, December 2020
11 Covid-19 shows fraying U.S. safety net, Berkeley scholars say (opens in new tab), Berkley News, July 2020
12 Redefining vulnerability in the era of Covid-19 (opens in new tab), The Lancet, April 2020
13 Mitigating the wider health effects of covid-19 pandemic response (opens in new tab), Douglas et al, BMJ, April 2020
Introduction Next section
Impact of Covid-19 on partnership working
Last updated: 1 December 2023
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