What will new responsible gambling strategy mean for industry?

What will new responsible gambling strategy mean for industry?

Monday, April 11, 2016 Totally Gaming
The document outlines targets for the next three years

A new strategy aimed at minimising gambling-related harm in the UK will target 12 key areas for action over the next three years. 

The National Responsible Gambling Strategy is to set the agenda for a range of organisations, including gambling operators, regulators, commissioning organisations, government, trade bodies, treatment providers and a number of other public agencies.

Produced by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) following a public consultation last year, the new strategy identifies 12 priority actions, including an improvement in understanding and measuring harm, increased understanding of the effects of product characteristics and environment, and improvement in the methods of identifying harmful play.

The strategy also five priority objectives, including the development of more effective harm minimisation interventions, an improvement in treatment and acceptance by a wider range of organisations in the public and private sectors of their responsibility to help address gambling-related harm.

“The overarching aim is to minimise gambling-related harm,” said Sir Christopher Kelly, RGSB chairman. “Gambling-related harm goes wider than the harm experienced by those identified as problem gamblers by existing screening tools - it can also affect the families of gamblers, their employers, their communities and society more widely.

“The strategy sets out a vision of what a desirable outcome would look like although we recognise that achieving the vision will be a significant challenge, requiring expertise, resources and commitment from a diverse range of stakeholders.

“In recent years some positive steps have been taken to tackle gambling-related problems and this strategy is designed to build on those foundations.”

The RGSB was set up in late 2008 to advise the Gambling Commission and, in turn, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, on research, education and treatment programmes needed to support a national responsible gambling strategy and associated funding requirements.

The RGSB, which has no powers to implement any of its recommendations directly or any budget of its own, said that its impact “depends on the persuasiveness, practicality, timeliness and independence of our advice". It admitted that the level of resources at the disposal of the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) charity, which is to lead many of the actions, could prove “insufficient”.  

Kelly added: “The publication of the strategy is a call to action for all of the organisations with a responsibility to work to minimise gambling-related harm. For the strategy to make a real difference, it requires ownership and prompt action from a wide range of organisations.

“The strategy represents a huge opportunity to improve social responsibility in gambling, and minimise gambling-related harm.”

TotallyGaming says: With operators putting a greater emphasis on responsible gambling within their business models, and a new well-defined industry strategy, the RGSB should have every confidence that gambling-related harm can be minimised over the course of the next few years.

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