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ABSG Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms - Year 3

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

Executive summary and key findings

In April 2019, the Commission-led three-year National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms was widely welcomed for strengthening its focus on population health, collaboration and placing the voice of consumers at its centre. Efforts towards better coordination and collaboration have brought benefits, including greater awareness of the need to diversify activities and approaches to prevention, treatment and research.

The National Strategy created a call to action that gave rise to over 400 actions by more than 40 stakeholder projects on gambling related harms. This progress report provides an opportunity to consider the National Strategy’s overall achievements and remaining challenges. Going further depends upon resolving barriers of funding, quality assurance and evaluation.

Key findings on progress over the lifetime of the National Strategy

Key achievements

  • increased involvement of people with lived experience in research, education and treatment to reduce gambling related harms
  • expansion in number and diversity of organisations now actively contributing to research, prevention and treatment
  • the start of efforts towards embedding a multi-agency population health approach to addressing and preventing harms, moving from predominantly individual towards population level interventions
  • new evidence from big data studies providing objective measures and confirming harms are more widespread than earlier self-report prevalence studies suggested
  • growing momentum towards data transparency
  • strengthening of regulatory requirements, for example on game design and marketing and advertising
  • wider consensus that funding should not be based on voluntary contributions.

Remaining gaps

  • coordinated national plans for zero tolerance of gambling-related suicide
  • Government leadership on the next phase of the National Strategy - underpinned by a move away from voluntary contributions to provide an increased volume of independent, sustained funding for all activities
  • local government led data collection to build understanding gambling harms at a local level
  • further progress on implementing independent quality assurance processes for treatment services and independent research commissioning
  • achieving agreement on outcome metrics, clear measures of success and independent, robust evaluation of interventions
  • establishment of more stringent rules for operators on customer interaction and affordability checks
  • the creation of an independent single customer view and data repository and details of how this would function in practice
  • learning from other sectors and being informed by a wider range of evidence and acknowledgement of the influence of conflicts of interest.
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Headline achievements and ABSG recommendations
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