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Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

ABSG progress report 2020

  1. Contents
  2. Section 7: Conclusions

Section 7: Conclusions

The National Strategy was launched in April 2019 amidst a mood of shared optimism. Since then, much progress has been made, but there is much more still to be done before any substantial claims can be made on its success. Reducing harms requires a societal response.

The health and care system’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted how much cross-agency working can be done differently and better if there iscommitment to a shared goal102. It has also exposed the gaps in systems and processes that need to be addressed for the longer term.

The response to gambling harms requires whole system changes. Government departments, regulators, and the third sector need to commit to establishing baseline measures on specific harms.

The Commission has taken a hugely important step in setting out the National Strategy. It now needs to take a lead on industry metrics and the creation of a new safer gambling league table to accelerate and standardise promises of progress and to implement specific targets. This may be challenging in a post pandemic environment where industry focus will be on increasing revenues, but nevertheless essential to progress on reducing harms.

However, other partners in the Strategy need to do more. Government led initiatives such as inclusion in the Public Health Outcomes Framework, the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Index, NICE guidelines and care pathways will be essential to progress on early identification, treatment provision, outcomes measurement and quality assurance. The third sector’s contribution is essential to campaigning, awareness raising and the provision of prevention and treatment provision in partnership with statutory bodies.

Researchers in the UK and further afield will be needed to continue to find answers to many of the outstanding research questions that remain and require urgent attention. All of these initiatives will be strengthened through the increased involvement of those with lived experience.

Finally, we would urge further progress on a statutory levy to underpin this work. Without it, there cannot be sustainable independent funding for research, prevention, education and treatment.


102 Learning from staff experience of Covid-19, Let the light come streaming in, The Kings Fund, June 2019

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ABSG progress report 2020: Recommendations and priorities for 2020
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ABSG progress report 2020: Annex 1: Impact Measurement Framework
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