The evaluation of safer gambling products and processes

The Gambling Commission has posted on its website details of a further co-creation workshop that it has hosted, on this occasion on the subject of the evaluation of safer gambling products and processes. The Commission reports as follows in relation to what it terms “Project Minerva”:

On 29 March the Commission’s Insight Team hosted a co-creation workshop in London which focused on:

  • taking a step back and looking at safer gambling evaluation methodologies with a new focus
  • understanding the operator challenges around the evaluation of safer gambling initiatives, products and processes
  • learning about other industries’ best practice and sharing progress and learnings from ongoing initiatives
  • co-creating a set of recommendations which can help you design and improve evaluation strategies.

Evaluation is one of the four key enablers of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms which was published on 25 April 2019. The evaluation workshop supported the Strategy’s aim to engage with a wide range of stakeholders, and provided an opportunity to consider different perspectives whilst looking at currently used evaluation techniques. It generated ideas on what works and can be applied to support the evolution of safer gambling processes.

Members of the Insight and Safer Gambling teams were joined by representatives from seven gambling operators, and experts from the NHS, British Standards Institutions (BSI),  NATO and the Money and Pension Service. These experts provided valuable advice on evaluation processes (included in our accompanying overview*) and identified and discussed challenges which are commonly shared:

  • Amy Lecomber (NATO) talked about the importance of understanding different methods and tailoring your evaluation to the project and available budget
  • Matthew Chisambi (NHS) highlighted the benefits of framing the question you want to answer when designing your evaluation process. He also outlined the importance of proportionality of approach and the benefits of using quantitative and qualitative data
  • Peter Bailey (The Money and Pension Service) raised the importance of a flexible approach and sharing what you have found with others
  • Thomas Harrison (BSI) shared the view that evaluation should start from the ground up. By training and educating front line staff in how to document and share learnings from ongoing initiatives every business can build a bank of knowledge and share it with others.

The workshop explored a variety of evaluation methods which can be employed to maximise the use of resources, data analysis and reporting. The discussions also focused on the challenges around the design of evaluations. Other topics included; the importance of ensuring buy-in across the business, communication, prioritisation of safer gambling projects and the potential for building on collaboration on safer gambling initiatives. Finally, the group shared outcomes and learnings gained from individual operator trials.

For more information, you can read about our findings in our overview*. To get in touch and find out more about co-creation workshops please email [email protected].

We will be following this up with a podcast where we will discuss the workshop in more detail.

To find out more about other projects we’ve been working on, you can follow these links:

Safer gambling research workshop blog

Identifying and intervening to assist customers who may be at risk from gambling-related harm

*Readers should note the above overview and its findings are for operators to consider in addition to the LCCP (1).

You can download below:

  • the Project Minerva overview report (to which reference is made above) and
  • the Commission’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, published in April this year, that outlines (on pages 22 & 23) the increasingly important role of evaluation in order to understand more about what works to reduce gambling harms, stating as follows:

Well-designed and well-delivered evaluation will be a core part of the evidence base for widespread adoption of measures proven to reduce gambling harms. Good evaluation looks not only at the process, but also the impact on people and behaviour. In order to achieve the overall aim of the strategy, a greater understanding is needed of the impact that interventions and activities have on how people gamble, how they experience harm, and how they respond to prevention and support activities and interventions. This means that evaluation needs to be built in from the beginning of an intervention or project.

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Download article PDF: GC Minerva-Workshop-Overview