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Independent advice issued by advisory groups to reduce gambling harm

18 January 2020

The Gambling Commission has commissioned advice from both the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and the Digital Advisory Panel to look at reducing gambling harms online.

The recommendations, made in papers from each of the expert groups, include developing a better understanding of the link between game design and gambling harms, trialling new approaches to harm education through evaluation and information sharing and engaging with consumers who have gambled online to understand their experiences and help drive change.

Neil McArthur, Chief Executive said in response to this advice: "We regulate an industry which is innovative and evolving quickly in response to changes in technology and consumer behaviour and our work with both expert advice groups will guide and influence our regulatory approach.

“The advice from our expert groups reinforces our view that small and gradual improvements by the industry are simply not enough to keep pace with the emerging risks and opportunities presented by online gambling. Only a bold and innovative approach will allow us to achieve the reduction in the numbers of people experiencing or at risk from gambling harm and this is why, following both sets of advice, we have set tough challenges to the industry which we must see progress on by Spring 2020.”

Andy Payne, Chair of the Digital Advisory Panel, said: “I am delighted and honoured to be working with the Commission in this capacity. The evolution seen across the gambling industry, specifically online gambling, over the last decade has been significant and we hope the collective intel and experience of the panel will support the Commission's work in reducing gambling harm and ensuring consumers remain protected.”

Dr Anna Van Der Gaag, Chair of Advisory Board for Safer Gambling said:

“We welcome the Commission’s publication of our advice. We identified significant gaps and weaknesses in the current system which, unless addressed, will result in continuing harms from gambling activity and give rise to further public concern. Involving people with lived experience is an essential part of this, along with more robust requirements of operators to be much more proactive and transparent in demonstrating how they are addressing harms from online activity in particular.”

The Advisory Board for Safer Gambling provide independent expert advice with the aim of achieving a Great Britain free from the consequences of gambling related harms.

The Digital Advisory Panel, which was established a year ago by the Commission, advises on ways to manage harms posed by online gambling platforms, meeting on a regular basis to discuss upcoming digital trends.

The advisory panel, which is made up of six experts from across the digital industry, will bring together experience from the gaming, technology, digital strategy and social media spheres including organisations such as Twitter and Cisco.