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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

2 - Progress involving people with lived experience of gambling harms.

Organisations led by people with lived experience have continued to gain profile and to influence public opinion about gambling harms272829. A collective submission by people with lived experience to the call for evidence Gambling Act Review (#WeAreTheEvidenceToo)30 provides an example of the depth and breadth of expertise within the community, and its positive impact on progress to reduce gambling harms. The growing number of initiatives led by people with lived experience is a welcome and long overdue addition to the field31.

The Gambling Commission moved quickly on ABSG’s recommendation to involve people with lived experience in the delivery of the National Strategy. It appointed a Lived Experience Advisory Panel, which is made up of twelve individuals with personal experience of gambling harms – either resulting from their own gambling or someone close to them (See Case Study 1)32.

Case study 1: Lived Experience Advisory Panel

The Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP) was launched by the Gambling Commission in January 2021. The terms of reference for this group were co-designed with an Interim Experts by Experience Group, who worked with the Gambling Commission from May to December 2020. The creation of this group represents a strong commitment to partnership work with people with lived experience and has led to sustainable arrangements to inform the Gambling Commission’s work.

LEAP will provide input to a range of policy and organisation development projects – giving those with lived experience a new voice within the work of the regulator. The group is providing input to the Gambling Commission’s work on the Gambling Act Review.

This initiative recognises that working with people with lived experience should not just be about listening to their stories but working together on addressing harms informed by their unique insights. This is an important addition to the evidence base for policy development, which is informed by a wide range of consumer experiences. Further inputs from consumers are obtained via surveys and other research, as well as outreach to key communities of interest in partnership with other organisations involved in the delivery of the National Strategy.

Partners in the National Strategy have been taking steps to include the voice of lived experience in their work. For example, the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland was the first to recruit a group which is informing the work of the Strategy Implementation Group for Scotland. The Alliance has also created a PhD studentship with the University of Glasgow to explore the role of individuals with lived experience of gambling harms in the development of policy and research33.

GambleAware have also increased their investment in working with people with lived experience. They have established a panel of people of have completed their treatment programme through GambleAware-funded services called ALERTS34. In addition, they have awarded a contract to Expert Link to develop and support the creation of a network of people with experience of gambling harm.


27 Gambling with Lives (opens in new tab) aims to support families who have been bereaved by gambling related suicides (accessed 13 April 2021)

28 GamLEARN (opens in new tab) supports those who have experienced gambling-related harm and provides opportunities for them to build a better future (accessed 13 April 2021)

29 GamFam (opens in new tab) offers support for families of disordered gamblers (accessed 13 April 2021)

30 We Are the Evidence Too: The views and experience of people with lived experience of gambling harms – a response to the DCMS Gambling Act review (PDF) (opens in new tab), GamFam and GamLEARN, accessed 13 April 2021.

31 Business Plan 2020-21, Gambling Commission

32 Gambling Commission appoints Lived Experience Advisory Panel to advance work in player safety, Gambling Commission, February 2021

33 Alliance Scotland PhD Scholarship - Exploring the role of individuals with lived experience of gambling harms in policy and research (opens in new tab), University of Glasgow (accessed 14 April 2021)

34 GambleAware promotes the voice of people who have lived experience of gambling harms (opens in new tab), GambleAware, February 2021

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Delivery and governance
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Mixed picture of national strategic co-ordination of implementation
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