UKGC’s National Strategy On Reducing Problem Gambling Is Working January 21, 2022 Luke Thomas

UKGC’s National Strategy On Reducing Problem Gambling Is Working

UKGC's National Strategy to Reduce Gambling HarmsSummary

  • UKGC says National Strategy is reducing problem gambling
  • Multi-agency approach is beginning to show results
  • Gambling regulator benefits from best practices

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been on a mission for the last few years to reduce problem gambling across the UK.

The UK experienced a surge in problem gambling over the last 5 years as surveys showed that both adults and minors were battling gambling addiction.

The COVID-19 pandemic which forced the UK to go into an extended lockdown in 2020 and parts of 2021 caused a big concern for the gambling regulator as they were concerned that problem gambling numbers would rise during the lockdown. However, things appear to be going in the right direction finally as the UKGC has reported that the National Strategy which they adopted in 2019 to reduce problem gambling was having an impact.

Multi-Agency Approach Is Working

When the National Strategy plan was released, the UKGC decided to take a multi-agency network approach as prior to formalizing the National Strategy, multiple agencies across the country expressed interest in working together with the UKGC and reducing gambling harm.

The UKGC decided to network with these local agencies as the gambling regulator knew that they did not have the resources, capabilities and network to reduce problem gambling across the country by themselves.

The Local Government Association (LGA) and Institute of Licensing are two agencies that have played a big role in pushing for gambling harm reduction. Local Authorities in places like Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham have taken the initiative to roll out problem gambling initiatives and they have reported good results.

This is one of the reasons why the UKGC has decided to fund a number of local agencies as their efforts to reduce problem gambling has made a difference. Some of the agencies that have received financial support from the gambling regulator during the last 3 years are Yorkshire and Humber Public Health and Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Shared Best Practices

The UKGC has also benefitted by getting different local agencies to communicate and share their best practices. This has helped the gambling watchdog to effectively adopt measures that have proven to have the best results across the country. Local Authorities hold meetings every 3 months to share best practices and these meetings are organized by the UKGC.

The gambling regulator plans to continue this local networking approach into 2022 as they are happy with the results so far.

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