The United Kingdom Commission (UKGC) has decided to rename its Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, the RGSB, to be the ABSG, which stands for the Advisory Board of Safer Gambling. The name change intends to make sure that it reflects a sharper focus on safe gambling. The Advisory Board of Safer Gambling (ABSG) is going to continue to provide advice to the gambling commission, as the UK regulator is aiming to implement its new nation-wide gambling strategy. The strategy is going to take a course over the upcoming three years. The new policy has a primary goal, which is reducing the harms of gambling in the United Kingdom.
The UKGC and the ABSG
It will include working with the UKGC as well on a variety of topics including treatment, education and research programs. These programs are essential to support the new strategy of the UKGC. The new nation-wide plan that aims to reduce gambling harm is going to launch on the 25th of this month. A coincidence of sorts is that the change in the name of the board came with the arrival of the new Chairman, Dr. Anna van der Gaag. She took over from the previous chairman Sir Christopher Kelly who occupied that position for six years. The UKGC announced the new chairman in November of 2018.
The New Chairman Comments on the Name Change
Dr. Anna van der Gaag commented on the new name by saying that the original name reflects the essential need for better clarity about the role of everyone when it comes to the delivery of this new strategy. She also added that the harms from gambling are considered to be a public health issue and that she welcomes the new approach of the UKGC that has a great focus on treatment and prevention.
She added that the ABSG is going to bring a renowned focus on consumer safety and harm prevention. It will help ensure that consumers get rid of the results of gambling harm. It will also make sure that the priority of research is at the top of the agenda of the commission. Lastly, she added that they are working side to side, and carefully listening to all of the partners and individuals involved.
More Feedback About the Importance of Safer Gambling
The Chief Executive of the commission, Neil McArthur, stated that they need to shift their focus from Responsible to Safer gambling. The reason behind that is that “Responsible Gambling” implies that each customer is the principal and the person in charge to stay safe. Therefore, they need to focus on safer gambling, which emphasizes that gambling operators have a responsibility towards players by keeping them safe.
Also, earlier this week, their ABSG has announced that the 2016-2019 National Responsible Gambling strategy has managed to achieve many key milestones. On the other hand, it failed to meet the expected progress when it comes to tackling gambling harms in the United Kingdom. Since the publishing of the strategy back in April of 2016, the RSGB has made progress in recognizing gambling as a public health problem, while there is still work to understand better and further measure gambling harm.