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Report

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

7 - Conclusions

There have been signs of progress towards reducing gambling harms across Scotland, Wales, and England over the past year. The change in mindset about the risks associated with gambling harms as well as the imperative for a multi-agency effort is underway.

Key stakeholders from statutory and third sector organisations have been working together to take action on prevention and treatment. Public health approaches to addressing harm are emerging in Scotland, Wales and regions in England. However, issues in treatment provision, outcome measurement, independent quality assurance and sustainable independent funding remain unresolved.

The involvement of people with lived experience has increased, both nationally and locally and this needs to continue if the Strategy is to succeed. The Commission has strengthened its regulatory interventions on game design and age limits and there is momentum behind further interventions to improve protection. We look forward to the outcomes of work on industry metrics, affordability, customer interaction and the single customer view.

What is also essential to this change in mindset is more research on products and their relationship to risk. Gambling operators have their own insights and we encourage them to share these. Evidence aligns with the views of those with lived experience that type of play, product design, accessibility and marketing are key and have an impact on habits, levels of spend149 and harm150.

ABSG has welcomed the Government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005 and the interest that this has generated in addressing gambling harms. However, the process of updating legislation is lengthy, and the momentum to further strengthen regulatory protections in parallel with the review should continue at pace.

References

149 Exploring online patterns of play, Interim Report (opens in new tab), University of Liverpool, NatCen, March 2021

150 Biddable Youth (opens in new tab), University of Bristol, 2019

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ABSG RGH year 2 progress report - Treatment and support
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ABSG RGH year 2 progress report - Annex 1
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