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ABSG Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms – Year Two

ABSG - Year two Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

1 - Executive summary

Two years have passed since the Gambling Commission launched its ambitious strategy for reducing gambling harms across Great Britain. The Strategy called for a change in mindset about the risks associated with gambling and a collective effort from a wide range of stakeholders to address harms.

Despite the on-going impact of the Covid-19 pandemic there has been some progress in both of these goals. National strategic co-ordination has begun in Scotland and Wales, but partners in England have been slow to achieve the same engagement.

Involvement of people with lived experience of gambling harms in the delivery of the Strategy has increased and this needs to continue.

The Gambling Commission has strengthened its regulatory interventions on game design and age limits. We look forward to progress on the priority areas of affordability, customer interaction and the single customer view.

The number of financial institutions offering blocking tools and support when requested by customers has increased. There is scope for such help to be more widely available and we would like to see financial institutions become more proactive in preventing harms.

There has been little progress on addressing gambling related suicide. Failure to make progress must be urgently addressed.

We have seen limited gains on agreeing metrics for measuring progress and impact of the National Strategy. Stakeholders must avoid allowing the complexity of establishing causality in gambling harms to get in the way of work to gather data.

There continues to be a pressing need for improved pathways to treatment and a stronger model of partnership work between the NHS and third sector providers.

Progress on independent funding for research has been slow. Engagement with research councils to agree a way forward is essential.

ABSG continue to urge progress on a statutory levy. The voluntary system is not delivering the volume, predictability or independence of funding required to make essential improvements in research, education and treatment.

Within the context of Covid-19 recovery and reform of system-wide approaches, the Gambling Act Review provides a critical opportunity to ensure adequate resourcing, mandate greater emphasis on prevention and significantly reduce gambling harms.

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ABSG RGH year 2 progress report - Recommendations
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