RGSB begins new era as ‘Advisory Board for Safer Gambling – ABSG’

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), the policy and standards advisory unit for the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), has rebranded as the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling – ABSG to reflect its deeper focus on safer gambling initiatives and protections.

The independent advisory undertakes its rebrand as Dr Anna van der Gaag CBE begins her tenure as new chair, replacing long-term incumbent Sir Christopher Kelly.

Acting as the ABSG, the advisory will continue to provide independent advice and guidance to the UKGC, as national policy stakeholders seek to implement a new strategy over the next three years to ensure the UK becomes the safest gambling marketplace for all its consumers, businesses, workers and verticals.

Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, said: “We need to shift the focus from ‘responsible gambling’ to ‘safer gambling’. Responsible gambling suggests that the individual customer is principally in charge of keeping themselves safe. By focusing on safer gambling we want to emphasise that there is a clear onus on gambling operators to protect their customers.

“The ABSG, led by Anna, will continue to provide the crucial advice we need into the long-term delivery of the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms which launches later this month.”

Supporting Dr van der Gaag as new chair, the ABSG further confirms the appointment of consumer protection specialist Louise Baxter to its board.

Finalising its first statement as the ABSG, the advisory states that working alongside the UKGC it will launch its new  national strategy to reduce gambling harms - focusing the priorities for the Commission and partners to support prevention and treatment.

van der Gaag added: “Our new name reflects the need for greater clarity about everyone’s roles in the delivery of the new strategy. Gambling harms are rightly recognised as a public health issue and I welcome the Gambling Commission’s new strategy with its strong focus on both prevention and treatment.

“As the ABSG, we will be bringing a renewed focus on the safety of consumers and prevention of harm, helping to ensure consumers are free from the consequences of gambling harms, that research priorities are high up the Commission’s agenda, and that we are listening and working closely with all our partners.”

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