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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

Recommendations on regulation

We make the following recommendations in relation to the Commission’s responsibilities and remit, building on its own statement published in August 2021:

  • increased regulatory action
  • improved consumer safety
  • expanded portfolio of regulatory research

Regulatory action

  • increase resources for enforcement and compliance in land-based and online environments and publish operator data regularly
  • create an independent single customer view as a means of improving risk assessment and customer intervention
  • introduce clear requirements for customer interaction and affordability checks to mandate earlier intervention and better controls. Establish ‘hard stops’ on episodes of binge gambling and other forms of unaffordable gambling activity
  • accelerate progress towards greater transparency and set metrics for annual industry performance data on safer gambling practices
  • place new licensing requirements on operators to provide clearer product information (opens in a new tab) – such as house edge, warning labels and volatility statements
  • establish zero tolerance for gambling related suicide across the industry using industry wide data – similar approaches to 'never events' (opens in a new tab) as established in other regulatory environments such as health and safety (opens in a new tab)
  • explore use of performance based regulatory techniques (e.g. confusion audits (opens in a new tab)).

Consumer safety

Regulatory research

  • a positive step can be seen in the commitment in the 2022/23 Business Plan for further research to inform the actions could be taken through regulation to reduce suicide risks
  • take leadership role in regulatory research by consulting on research priorities with a range of stakeholders and publishing a programme of research priorities
  • continue to refine work on prevalence and participation/measurement of harms/risk matrix
  • fund independent research on the structural characteristics of games and their relative risks, drawing on a wider range of research methodologies
  • create a data repository (opens in a new tab) to improve transparency and facilitate independent research and create greater transparency on operator data to detect potentially harmful play – to establish best practice and thresholds for intervention
  • enable more independent research and evaluation to establish what works in harm prevention – particularly operator led intervention and education and awareness campaigns, underpinned by the principles of Responsible Metrics (opens in a new tab).
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Recommendations for an effective multi-partnership approach to prevention and treatment
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