UK Gambling Commission launches consultation on reducing gambling harm

On 4 December 2018, the Commission opened a consultation on a new national strategy to reduce gambling harm and to propose amendments to the LCCP regarding the requirement for gambling businesses to contribute to research, prevention and treatment.

As part of the consultation, the Commission is seeking views on five proposed priority areas for action over the life of the strategy. The five priority areas set out the specific focus for the life of the strategy which the Commission believes will have the most impact on delivering the strategy’s aims.  The priority areas are listed below.

Priority Area 1: Research to inform action.  The Commission has introduced 6 research themes in order to understand the causes of problem gambling.  Themes include (i) gambling-related harms; (ii) patterns of play; and (iii) education and prevention.

Priority Area 2: Prevention. The Commission hopes to build on, help to coordinate and target the work that has been carried out by a range of bodies, including GambleAware and other gambling charities working in the area of education.

Priority Area 3: Treatment. The availability and extent of different types of treatment varies across the nations, and there is a treatment gap which needs to be assessed and addressed. The extent of this gap is somewhat ‘hidden’ because those experiencing harm often may not know what help is available.  Improving the arrangements includes furthering pathways to treatment via primary and social care and supporting those who suffer from mental health issues alongside gambling harms.

Priority Area 4: Evaluation.  The Commission is placing a greater emphasis on truly identifying the processes that work by exploring the use of a central/co-ordinating evaluation body.

Priority Area 5: Gambling businesses. The Commission recognises that gambling businesses have a key role to play in reducing the risk of gambling harms. In order to maximise progress, gambling businesses should focus their collaborative efforts to achieve the most impact.  Unlike some of the more thematic priority areas, priority area 5 focuses on the role the industry can play to drive and deliver progress across the strategy as a whole.

The proposed amendment to the LCCP covers the obligation for licensees to combat problem gambling under social responsibility code provision 3.1.1 by means of a financial contribution that will be made only to  organisations approved by the Commission.

You can read more about this and respond to the consultation here