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Actions by businesses and other key organisations support the delivery of the strategy and the reduction of gambling harms

Businesses and other key organisations with a role in reducing gambling harms need to work, with their regulators, to continue to develop and improve existing practice, and to identify new ways to reduce gambling harms.

Working collaboratively in a coordinated manner to focus efforts and share more widely what does and does not work, will achieve greater impact than more isolated efforts. The gambling industry is increasingly collaborating on activities to promote safer gambling, and even more can be achieved through active targeting, direction and support for this collaboration by the Gambling Commission as the industry regulator.

Working towards the outcomes in this strategy is by no means restricted to the gambling industry and will require collaboration by all businesses and partners involved in reducing gambling harms. These include national and local health and social care bodies, commissioning bodies, service providers for prevention and treatment programmes,and third sector organisations in order to make real progress.

collaboration diagram
  • Government departments responsible for gambling, health and education.
  • Public health bodies.
  • Research community including individual academics, research centres and charities.
  • Businesses such as gambling, financial, advertising and technology.
  • Health and social care services including funding, commissioning, treatment provision, oversight, professional bodies and charities.
  • Regulators national, local, international (applying advice from the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling). 
  • Consumers service users, and those with lived experience. 
  • Third sector education and support charities, including GambleAware, Citizens Advice and other advisory services.  

Businesses who actively innovate and collaborate to reduce gambling harms should be recognised and should share good practice for wider adoption.

The importance of collaboration applies not only to gambling businesses. Other key organisations also have a role to play to innovate and identify ways to support individuals experiencing gambling harms.

Partnership actions

To support developments in the financial sector

In financial services, businesses should continue to work together todevelop and offer tools and controls to help customers manage theamount they spend on gambling, and work to understand andsupport vulnerable consumers who are at an increased risk of harm.

To support the implementation of national public health plans,and to provide an evidence-based toolkit for use by local authorities, their public health teams and other organisations

The Gambling Commission and licensing authorities work in partnership through shared regulation of gambling premises and will use the findings and evidence generated through the developing public health model to build on existing toolkits for gambling, using an evidence-based approach. We will also support the evaluation of the impact of public health plans.

To support increased awareness, knowledge and signposting

There is a need for businesses, service providers, charities, and local health partnerships to collaborate to provide better signposting and pathways to the range of treatment and support options. This includes workforce education and development to equip practitioners to identify the signs of harm and collaborate to identify the right pathways to support and treatment to meet an individual’s needs.

The Gambling Commission will support businesses to innovate and collaborate to ensure that activities deliver greater impact on a clearer set of defined priorities.  Collaboration for and by gambling businesses on prevention and education and treatment and support starts with responsible product and game design, and creating and providing clear information for customers about the risks of gambling and how products behave. It means improving up front consumer protections to encourage safer gambling, promoting the use of tools to manage gambling as a measure to prevent harm and developing support mechanisms such as exclusion options and referral processes to ensure people who need to cease gambling have the right tools and support to help them do so.

In our annual business plans and through engagement with operators and trade associations, the Commission will set clear priority areas for operators to focus on in order to raise standards. We will continue to facilitate collaboration to identify what does and doesn’t work and will look at new and innovative ways to share lessons learned, and to recognise and share best practice to accelerate progress.

We expect collaboration to lead to clear outcomes, and for efforts to understand and develop interventions and practices to reduce gambling harms to have a clear purpose, include testing and evaluation, and for findings and outcomes to be shared more widely to help inform safer gambling practices.

Focus in year 1

  • Encouraging and supporting work across a range of stakeholders to innovate and identify ways to prevent harm and to support individuals experiencing harms.
  • Supporting the launch of the Howard League for Penal Reform independent commission on crime and problem gambling.
  • The Commission is exploring how we can support the charity, Money and Mental Health Policy Institute to build on their track record of working with the financial services sector to prevent gambling harms, by taking a key role leading independent engagement to prevent harm on an even greater scale. This could include consolidating existing evidence into digestible best practice, participating in evaluation of projects connected with the sector and engaging across the sector and with individual firms to drive change.
  • Supporting the implementation of national public health plans and providing an evidence-based toolkit for use by local authorities, their public health teams and other relevant organisations drawing on existing local and regional good practice in this area.
  • Driving and supporting collaboration in the industry to promote safer gambling and reduce harm.

Emerging work 

  • Improving funding through the voluntary system and coordination of increased prevention and treatment activity following announcements in relation to significant increased commitments by the largest bookmakers.
  • Developing partnerships with a broad range of consumer support charities to accelerate progress under the strategy.
  • Establishing a lived experience forum (initially) within Scotland.
  • Scoping the potential for a regional pilot to develop and disseminate best practice to local authorities, and consider the role of public scrutiny in local plans to reduce gambling harms.

Identified gaps being addressed

  • Workforce education across gambling businesses, service providers, charities and local healthcare providers to better understand and identify the sign of gambling harms and provide better signposting to the range of treatment and support options.

Key milestones/activities

  • Launch of the Howard League for Penal Reform independent commission on crime and problem gambling (Year 1, Q1)
  • Announcement of increased voluntary contributions from the five largest operators (Year 1, Q1)
  • RGA begins trialling options for a model to assess customer affordability in online gambling (Year 1, Q2) and reviews industry guidelines on behavioural analytics to identify harm (Year 1, Q3)
  • Creating a consumer stakeholder representative group, prioritising those who provide broad support to consumers experiencing harms associated with gambling and other related factors (Year 1, Q3)
  • Delivering a best practice programme for the gambling industry, with a focus on reducing harm (Year 1, Q4)