UKGC Starts New Interim Group to Reduce Gambling Harm

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has called upon the experience of players who have experienced harm from gambling and addiction and who will now help the regulator how to best minimize the incidence of gambling-related harm in vulnerable players.

UK Gambling Commission Interim Group to Help Address Gambling Harm

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will seek the opinion of individuals who have suffered from gambling and have experienced addictive gaming practices as part of a new advisory group, Experts by Experience (EbE).

Following news that the commission will look into how VIP schemes offering incentives to High Value Customers and mounting pressure from lawmakers to restrict certain aspects of gambling, such as the betting limits on online slots, but also the ability to advertise, the commission continues to try and minimize consumer risks further.

Responding to political pressure, the UKGC has now launched a number of reevaluation projects to try and further reduce gambling harm. A recent study has shown that some 94% of the British public already knows about responsible gambling tools, however, some lawmakers believe that the measures taken so far haven’t been sufficient to minimize risks to consumers.

EbE will also seek to better study the impacts of gambling harm on society and it will complement the HVC program which has already united technology and gambling leaders, healthcare professionals and players, who will work out new measures on how to design safer VIP schemes.

Working on Solutions with Gambling Firms and Regulators

The Betting and Gaming Council has already prepared a draft designed to introduce a more consumer-focused control over VIP programs, the association said. Announcing the EbE workgroup, the UKGC stressed the importance of drawing from the experience of individuals who have experienced gambling harm and can best describe its implications.

Commenting on EbE, UKGC CEO Neil McArthur had this to say: “We will work with the interim group to co-create a formal Advisory Board, which will allow us to involve Experts by Experience more closely in the development of our regulatory framework.”

He cautioned that the regulator would need more time to best assess how to use new information and utilize it in a way that would help the commission tackle the problem. McArthur reiterated that the commission would be focusing on affordability and online player protection in the coming weeks, hoping to quickly address issues that have been brought to the attention of lawmakers in the UK.

The EbE group will operate as part of the UKGC for six months which will then lead to the creation of a dedicated advisory group, which will further issue recommendations to the existing Advisory Board on how to introduce safer gambling practices.

The Gambling Group Will Work Anonymous for Now

For the time being, the UKGC has preferred to keep the names of participating members of the EbE group under wraps, but their names may be disclosed later as the group matures. Commenting on these developments, a spokesperson for the Interim Group explained that the establishment of the EbE group is long overdue as this body would hopefully allow the UKGC to tackle pressing gambling issues in a more meaningful and efficient way.

“We are determined that EbE should play a continuing and much more active role in the deliberations and decision making across the whole remit of the Commission as part of the National Strategy to reduce gambling harms,” the spokesperson concluded outlining a new regulatory effort to snuff out gambling addiction in the UK.

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