National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms
Reducing gambling harms demands a much stronger link between research and policy, supported by a research programme that both informs and is informed by action, involves a wide range of agencies and researchers, and has the right research infrastructure to deliver it.
Historically, barriers to research have included practical considerations around accessing sufficient consistent and useful data on customers’ gambling activities, and ethical concerns about the source of funding for research.
The strategy is therefore prioritising steps towards the creation of a central data repository that would enable access to anonymous datasets for research.
Over the long-term, this repository would:
- streamline the process for accessing data for research purposes
- accelerate the pace of research
- open up access to a broader range of researchers.
The Gambling Commission’s governance and commissioning arrangements for its independent research programme have already broken the link between funding and commissioning research, and consideration will be given to the long-term research structures that are necessary, including the potential role of one or more research centres.
There is however a need to facilitate better application of the body of evidence to policy decisions. The Commission will be supported and challenged to do so by its independent advisors, the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling.
An independent research hub would enable an ever-increasing evidence base for policy, and therefore drive more effective action. It would also help map the needs for future research.
Interim steps by the Commission to share the evidence under its independent research programme will be critical, alongside working with partners to develop the longer-term approaches to a hub.Next section
Working in partnership