The Senet Group: UK gambling responsible strategy needs collective business input

Gillian Wilmot – The Senet Group

Industry independent watchdog The Senet Group has published its response to the UKGC’s stakeholder consultation on developing new policy initiatives/directives for the ‘National Responsible Gambling Strategy – NRGS’.

Seeking to develop a new cooperative framework, the UKGC’s three-year national strategy will primarily focus on i) reducing gambling harms, ii) expanding stakeholder cooperation, iii) improving UK health and community networks’ knowledge and capacity of treating problem-gambling as an illness and social disorder.

The Senet welcomes the UKGC’s reduction in strategic priorities, stating that all UK stakeholders will benefit from ‘greater clarity and focus on the shared objectives across the industry’.

In its submission, the Senet calls for underlined approach on the development of the strategy with a view of creating key themes and guidance – “without clearly articulated goals, it becomes difficult to assess progress or to focus cross-industry collaboration and action.”

Key advice on the formation of the NRGS sees the Senet warn the UKGC of incorporating a ‘wide definition on gambling-harm’, which may strain resources and strategic input from the wider UK health community actors-  “the Commission might look to other sectors, such as alcohol regulation, where too wide a definition of harm has made it difficult to assess the impact of reduction strategies, due to other correlating factors and co-morbidities”.

A core Senet recommendation calls for the UKGC to develop a collective engagement  with UK businesses across the make-up of the NRGS’ strategy – “the customer insight business has to offer will be critical to ensuring that harm reduction strategies have the necessary operational and customer behavioural context to succeed”.

Closing its submission, the Senet supports the development of an ‘industry data repository’,  as a complex but much-needed project to deliver on, as critical data will support the health stakeholders’ clear research objectives.

Updating the market, Gillian Wilmot, Chairman of the Senet Group, said: “Elements of the gambling industry have contributed to an environment of mistrust and frustration in recent years, and delivery against the Commission’s objectives in the last three-year strategy has not been sufficiently coordinated across operators.”

“However, companies are now making unprecedented efforts to reduce harms, and it’s critical that the customer insight and interaction they bring is put to good use in ensuring that harm reduction solutions have the operational context necessary to succeed and be implemented speedily.”

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