Consensus cannot be the hardest word

David Clifton’s monthly Licensing Expert article for SBC News – entitled “Consensus Cannot Be The Hardest Word” (that you can download below) – picks up on a word that featured prominently in speeches by former Labour Party Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, and Gambling Commission CEO, Neil McArthur at ICE on 4 February.

Watson used the word “consensus” at the end of his speech foreshadowing the UK Government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005 when he said:

My final thought is this – if we can’t forge that reasonable, evidence-based consensus on the way forward, the result will not be business as usual. No, the result will be a tougher, more draconian approach driven by those who believe what you do is morally wrong, and that the job of government and regulators is to stamp you out, like big tobacco and liquor.

McArthur said in his “Changing mindsets” speech:

I can see that a consensus is building about what needs to be done. Moreover, it isn’t a consensus born out of a ‘belief’ or assertion about what will work.  It is built on evidence and experience.

In his article, David expands on his view that, in relation to the forthcoming Government review, it must surely be sensible for all involved in or with the industry – policy makers, regulators, operators, suppliers, advisors, problem gambling education and treatment providers, and other interested parties (including those with lived experience of gambling related harm) – to focus constructively on areas where a measure of consensus can be achieved.