RGSB – One year on: progress delivering the National Responsible Gambling Strategy

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board has published its first assessment of the progress that has been made in the delivery of the 12 Priority Actions in the three year National Responsible Gambling Strategy, on which we have previously reported here. Its report (that can be downloaded below) also identifies what more needs to be done to increase the pace of delivery over the next two years.

Of particular interest to gambling operators will be the following extracts.

  • Priority action 3: Consolidating a culture of evaluation – summary assessment: “A lot of activity is said to be taking place and some evaluations have been published. We have not, however, yet seen sufficient evidence of evaluations of player protection interventions being widely carried out. We are also concerned that, where evaluations are taking place, there is insufficient focus on impact as opposed to process. Without evidence of what does, or does not, work, it will prove difficult to demonstrate that progress is really being made to reduce gambling-related harm” and focus in year 2Operators and their trade associations, with support from GambleAware, the Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, will need to continue to evaluate new initiatives, focusing on impact (both intended and unintended) as well as process. Proportionate and appropriate impact evaluation needs to be embedded in the design of any new initiatives and products, whoever undertakes them. GambleAware will explore the possibility of a central portal where industry evaluations (either partial or full) can be uploaded and shared with others so that appropriate lessons can be learnt”
  • Priority action 5: Improving methods of identifying harmful play – summary assessment: “A lot of welcome activity is taking place in both land-based and online parts of the industry. More progress is required in terms of demonstrating the effectiveness of these approaches, improving their transparency and ensuring that proven good practice is adopted across the industry” and focus in year 2: “The industry will need to continue to experiment with methods of identifying potentially harmful play and to evaluate and share their findings so that industry-wide protocols and good practice guidance  can be developed. Understanding and identifying harm for different vulnerable groups (e.g. young people) should also be a focus. The industry trade associations will need to take forward the findings from relevant research projects, including the tracked play research in casinos, the findings from the Player Awareness System evaluation in licensed betting offices and markers of harm in the remote sector”
  • Priority action 6: Piloting interventions – summary assessment: “There is some innovative practice developing in a number of operators. But there is still limited evidence of its effectiveness. We are yet to see the wide scale development, testing, implementation and evaluation of interventions to reduce harmful gambling for which we had hoped” and focus in year 2: GambleAware working with the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling, Senet Group, Gambling Commission and Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, will need to continue their work on messaging, ensuring that the findings are evaluated and turned into practical action across the industry. Operators and trade associations will need to put even greater energy into developing, testing and evaluating different forms of intervention, being innovative and agile in their experimentation, following up any insights from commissioned research and drawing on ideas from consumers in line with Priority Action 12. If sufficient experimentation does not happen through industry leadership, as we hope it will, we will work with the Gambling Commission to specify some of the areas it would be helpful to explore through pilot projects”