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Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

ABSG progress report 2020

Treatment and support

The National Strategy aims to help all those affected by gambling harm to access effective high-quality treatment and support wherever they live, with positive outcomes.

Treatment and support – summary of progress


  • Clear recognition of gambling harms in the NHS England Ten-Year Plan – leading to expanded treatment through NHS clinics
  • Pilot of a 24-hour operation of the National Problem Gambling Helpline.
  • Initial commitment to develop a quality assurance system for treatment by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
  • Expanded range of pilot activity to treat gambling harms in a range of setting and through increased engagement with new statutory providers – such as GPs, Custody Suites and Recovery Colleges.


  • Little published evidence from evaluation of existing treatment and support to guide current decisions about the expansion of services.
  • A lack of agreed outcomes data.
  • Systemic weakness in research funding has contributed to this lack of evidence. This includes the pace at which research has been commissioned and delivered and quality of final research produced.
  • Delays to NICE guidelines, which would further embed treatment for gambling harms to mainstream health services
  • No national needs assessment – meaning there is limited assurance that activity is well-matched to need.
  • Over-reliance on regulatory settlements to fund new treatment activity.
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Summary of progress
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