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UK Gambling Commission Unveils 3-Year Post-White Paper Evidence PlanFollowing the publication of Britain’s Gambling White Paper, the ombudsman has unveiled a new three-year evidence program to navigate the region towards a safer, fairer, and crime-free future. Here’s a highlight of the six evidence themes in the plan.
In the aftermath of the publication of the Gambling Act Review White Paper, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently announced its Evidence, Gaps, and Priorities program for 2023 to 2026. As the report’s title suggests, the program is a three-year plan intended to fill evidence gaps while highlighting areas in the gambling sector that need improvement through research and data collection.
Through this program, the regulator aims to make UK’s gambling scene fairer, safer, and free of crime. While rolling out the red carpet for this program, the gambling ombudsman said in part:Quote
“As part of our role as a people-focused and evidence-led regulator, we are constantly studying and delivering ways to improve our data, research, and evidence. This work supports better regulation and better outcomes for the millions of people who gamble in Great Britain.”
The Commission also stated that the new evidence it is sourcing would ultimately help highlight any pertinent and upcoming problems in the UK gambling scene. As the regulator sees it, the final document released at the end of this process will benefit not only the gambling industry but also many other industries in the UK. Speaking on that aspect of the research, Tim Miller, the gaming watchdog’s Executive Director of Research and Policy, said:Quote
“Each area has key points where we want to know more, each area has clear actions that the commission can lead on, but equally, they each have to work for others: researchers, third sector bodies, and the gambling sector itself.”
Evidence Themes Outlined
The UKGC identified six evidence themes covering the range of gaps, and research queries the three-year program seeks to answer. The six themes that will guide this process are as follows:
- Early Gambling Encounters and Gateway Products
This theme will focus on the early gambling experiences of underage individuals of 16 to 17 years old and young adults aged between 18 and 24 years. The regulator wants to address how early gambling-related encounters could be a gateway to more extensive gambling habits. Through studying behaviors related to early gambling, the UKGC hopes to identify vulnerable persons at an earlier stage and implement measures that could be able to prevent problem gambling sooner.
- Range and Variance of Gambling Experiences
The Commission asserts that over 23 million British citizens have engaged in some form of gambling over the past month or so. Of the 23 million, the scope and circumstances surrounding their gambling and their ability to move in and out of harmful gambling circumstances are varied.
So, the Commission aims to understand the diverse range of gambling experiences. With these vital insights, the regulator can tailor its interventions and policies accordingly to mitigate against the potential harm that may face its vast gambling population.
- Gambling Harm and Vulnerability
With the UKGC mandated to minimize gambling-related side effects and protect individuals against any harm that may befall them, you can understand why this issue is vital to the regulator. Under this evidence theme, the regulator wants to investigate the specific harms gamblers face, such as financial losses, mental health issues, or even the negative social consequences experienced. Figuring out these problems should help the regulator know how to help the UK gambling population deal with the issues effectively.
- Illegal Gambling and Crime
The Commission will set out to better understand the true relationship between gambling and crime. By establishing this link, the Commission will be better positioned to prevent gambling from being used as a source of social ills like crimes and money laundering that have become prevalent in this gambling industry.
The research the Commission is targeting about this theme will encompass crimes committed in relation to gambling activities, crimes that affect society or gambling operators, and finally, the connection between gambling and the criminal justice system.
- Product Qualities and Associated Risk
The regulator will seek to gauge the varying characteristics of different gambling products and how they could potentially affect gamblers, and if these products could lead to gambling problems. For example, varying product features like payout rates and design could have associated risks. Should the regulator discover these risks, it could be in a suitable position to mitigate against said risks.
- How Operator Practices Affect Players
With operators playing an undeniably significant role in the gambling industry, the UKGC will cast its gaze toward operator practices like advertising, promotions, and responsible gaming measure, just to mention a few. These practices ultimately impact the player, and the regulator wants to understand in what capacity. In the long run, this should help enforce the proper guidelines operators can adhere to and create a safer gambling space in the UK.
Making Great Britain’s Gambling Safer, Fairer, and Crime-Free
The process being undertaken by the UKGC signifies a proactive approach toward enhancing regulatory efficiency and ensuring the people engaging in gambling activities in the UK are well protected. This comprehensive approach is welcome; we cannot wait to see how things progress.
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