Comments by David Clifton feature in an article for Vixio (formerly GamblingCompliance) by Scott Longley, entitled “Gambling Commission Questioned Over Experts By Experience Panel”.
The article focuses on criticisms levelled against the Commission for a lack of transparency after it failed to answer a series of questions on the make-up of the Experts by Experience panel (about which we have previously reported in our website posting entitled “UKGC announces consultation on VIPs, publishes progress on VIP Incentives, Game Design & Ad-tech and announces creation of Experts by Experience Group“).
David is not alone in believing that the Commission needs to explain more in this respect, particularly bearing in mind that the interim Experts by Experience Advisory Group had already contributed its opinions on recent industry challenges to the Commission in advance of the regulator’s announcement of its formation on 19 June 2020.
David comments in the Vixio article that the timing of the Commission’s announcement has given the impression that it might have been rushed into doing so in the knowledge that, just over a week later, the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling would be publishing its “Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms”, calling for an acceleration of efforts to involve people with lived experience in the delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.
This is not to suggest that the Commission’s announcement came as a surprise because, in his April 2019 speech launching the National Strategy, its Chairman Bill Moyes had talked in terms of drawing on not only those whose expertise comes from first-hand experience of the highs and lows that can come from gambling, but also the additional expertise of academic research experts and those who are experts because of their professional history in the gambling industry.
However, as matters presently stand, the Commission’s emphasis is on receiving advice, evidence and recommendations from those with lived experience of gambling harms. That is undoubtedly an important part of the jigsaw but, in the interests of balance and fairness, further information should certainly be shared now, not least to dispel fears in some quarters that the Commission is too closely aligning itself with what is often (albeit wrongly) perceived as an exclusively anti-gambling lobby.
The Vixio GamblingCompliance article can be downloaded below.