Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms
The ‘industry challenges’
In October 2019, the Commission issued the following new ‘challenges’ to the gambling industry:
- Game design – to create an industry code for safe game design
- Improved use of advertising technology – to reduce exposure for children and those who are vulnerable to harm
- ‘High value’ customers45 - to improve standards in an area of industry practice which has led to significant consumer detriment and multiple operator failings
- ‘Single Customer View’ – to facilitate data pooling to create a more complete picture of potentially harmful online gambling behaviour. This would create a stronger foundation for a co-ordinated approach to ‘affordability’ as outlined above.
We welcome the focus of these activities on priority issues, which, if meaningful action is taken, have the potential to reduce gambling harms46.
There are clear risks associated with an approach that rests on voluntary engagement and co-production with the industry. However, testing this co-production approach is worthy of exploration, and provides the industry with opportunities to demonstrate improvements.
The Commission must ensure that the industry is held to agreed timetables and outcomes before proposals are tested with a wider stakeholder group, in particular with those who have experienced gambling-related harms previously. There must be transparent accountability for progress in these four areas. If the progress is not adequate then the Commission will be right to act on its commitment to introduce alternative and robust regulatory requirements to protect consumers from harm.
45 Sometimes referred to as ‘VIP’s by operators
46 A consultation has now been launched on high-value customers to mandate some of the industries proposals and to identify further measures that are needed. Further consultations are forthcoming on the other challenges.
Last updated: 18 August 2021
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