New Responsible Gambling Strategy Board Appointment in UKGC

Amid a spate of upcoming changes, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is now appointing one of the country’s noteworthy social care experts at the helm of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB)

Of Legislation and Responsible Gambling in the UK

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is intensifying its efforts to clamp down on reckless gaming behavior. It has little to do with victimizing people who have developed a problem and all to do with appointing the right people on key positions.

This explains why Dr Anna van der Gaag will now be part of the responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), the UKGC’s internal body that is tasked with meeting the persisting problem of reckless gambling head on.

Dr. Gaag will be stepping in the post of Sir Christopher Kelly, who will be leaving his stint in March next year. The RGSB is tasked with developing nationwide strategy to curb the number of problem gamblers who are still roughly the same percentage of the population, despite successful efforts from NGOs such as GambleAware to limit the negative impact of the industry.

Staring these facts in the face, Dr. Gaag will be seeking a solution to a rather persisting problem. A slew of legal changes has also been voted, with most notably the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) getting a downgrade from £100 to £2 as the maximum wager. According to experts, this will have a significant and beneficial impact on the country’s problem gamblers, driving the numbers down.

The Right Person for the Job

Dr. Gaag is chair of the Health and Care Professions Council and serves as a non-exec at Health Education and the Kent Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network. In her unique position of a healthcare professional, Dr. Gaag can base any future developments of preventative measures on scientific evidence, hoping to root the problem from its very core.

Speaking about the issue, Dr. Gaag said that gambling harm is increasingly being brought into the public discourse and a larger number of people have recognized the need for collective measures against the phenomenon in order to negate the downsides of engaging in even recreational forms of gaming.

Gambling Commission Chair Bill Moyes has expressed his satisfaction with the new appointment of Dr. Gaag, citing her vast experience in the health profession.

She brings with her a wealth of experience in health, social care and the prevention of harm that will be an asset in advising on how to implement the next National Strategy, which will launch in April 2019 and on which we will shortly be consulting.

Meanwhile, the RGSB has been seeking to actively curb gambling-related harm. It authored a three-year plan designed to exclusive address the issues arising from gambling harm and seek to eradicate the practices altogether.

The efforts have so far yielded results in bringing the total numbers of gamers across the nation, although those who are inclined to indulge in unwise gaming practices seem content to continue and do so. As gaming laws become stricter, so do healthcare experts and the UKGC seek to fight the problem at its heart.

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