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Strategy

National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

The sole aim of this three-year National Strategy is to move faster and go further to reduce gambling harms.

Gambling Commission actions

This strategy forms the basis of the Gambling Commission’s safer gambling priorities. We will expect gambling operators to demonstrate how they are supporting and delivering the strategy through raised standards in compliance, including evidence of ongoing trials and evaluation of safer gambling activities, evidenced through the assurance statement process and our ongoing compliance activity.

As set out in the Commission’s strategy for 2018–21, we will continue to require operators to assess and improve protections designed to prevent gambling harm and support consumers who need help to manage or control their gambling.

Whilst we expect that over time, the developing framework for measuring gambling-related harms will inform where preventative measures should be targeted, we are committed to other actions to make progress as this work continues.

This includes driving live environment trials of preventative interventions as part of the research programme as well as industry-based interventions, such as proactive safer gambling messages to consumers, the design of products and games, and the availability and promotion of safer gambling tools.

Where there is clear evidence of what works to reduce the risk of gambling harms, the Commission will expect widespread adoption by operators, and we will use the full range of our regulatory tools to deliver appropriate consumer protections.

Where we have concerns about practices which might cause harm, we may adopt a precautionary approach to restrict these practices. Where there is conclusive evidence of practices known to cause harm, which are not being mitigated, we will take action to restrict or prevent these in order to reduce harm.

We will continue to assess the effectiveness of controls and tools to support customers to manage or to cease gambling. This will involve continued work with gambling operators to identify and implement improved information and signposting to help and support.

We will continue to hold to account licensees who do not take sufficient action to mitigate against the harms caused by gambling, or take account of lessons learned, using the full range of our enforcement powers, as evidenced by the increasing levels of financial penalties for regulatory failure.

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