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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 - 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

  1. June 2020

    Gambling Commission action - ABSG's Year One Progress Report

  2. June 2020

    National Strategy partner action - Strategy Implementation Group for Scotland hold action planning session

  3. June 2020

    Key event - Non-essential businesses re-open following first national lockdowns

  4. June 2020

    Key event - Public Accounts Committee report on gambling regulation

  5. July 2020

    Key event - House of Lords report on social and economic impact of the gambling industry.

  6. September 2020

    National Strategy partner action - DCMS opens consultation on lootboxes in video games

  7. November 2020

    Gambling Commission action - GC starts consultation on customer interaction and affordability

  8. November 2020

    Key event - GB enters second national lockdowns

  9. November 2020

    National Strategy partner action - Guidance published for financial sector on gambling vulnerability factors

  10. December 2020

    National Strategy partner action - DCMS announce review of Gambling Act and change in age limits for the National Lottery

  11. January 2021

    Key event - GB enters third national lockdowns

  12. January 2021

    Gambling Commission action - GC announce outcome of consultation on safer games design

  13. January 2021

    Gambling Commission action - GC launch Lived Experience Advisory Group to provide input on regulatory approach

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Impact of Covid-19 on partnership working
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