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National Strategic Assessment 2020

This report sets out our latest assessment of the issues we face and the risks that gambling poses to consumers and the public

  1. Contents
  2. Chief Executive's foreword

Chief Executive's foreword

The Gambling Commission was set up under the Gambling Act 2005. We license gambling operators and key personnel. We regulate gambling, by setting the rules of our licensees and ensuring they comply with them, as well as preventing illegal gambling. We advise the Secretary of State about gambling and we provide guidance to local authorities, as premises-based gambling is subject to dual licensing. We also regulate the National Lottery under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993.

Our work is always guided by a determination to make gambling safer and the licensing objectives are always at the forefront of our minds.

The objectives are to:

  • protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling
  • prevent gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime
  • ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way.

I am pleased to introduce the Gambling Commission’s first National Strategic Assessment. It sets out our latest assessment of the issues we face and the risks that gambling poses to consumers and the public. Identifying issues and risks must be a dynamic process, as technology and consumer behaviour constantly change.

Our overall assessment is built on four pillars linked to:

This assessment also takes account of the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, as it has implications for all four pillars.

For each of these four pillars, we have collated the data, statistics and evidence obtained from our compliance and enforcement work. We have also drawn from the advice of our Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG), our Digital Advisory Panel (DAP), and the Interim Experts by Experience Group, which consists of those with direct experience of gambling harm. We have engaged industry representatives and colleagues in the third sector and taken account of the findings of recent Parliamentary reports into gambling and its regulation.

Drawing on all these sources, we have developed this comprehensive National Strategic Assessment. This assessment is the foundation for prioritising action over the coming months and years. The assessment should be read alongside our actions and those of partners in progressing the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

We look forward to working with the government on the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act, but we want to make it clear that we will not be waiting for the outcome of that review to address the issues that we have identified. We are responding quickly, using the full range of our powers, whenever we see an opportunity to make gambling fairer and safer.

Neil McArthur Chief Executive – Gambling Commission

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