14 October 2009
The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) has today published its initial recommendations to the Gambling Commission (the Commission) and, in turn, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), on the priorities for research, education and treatment (RET) needed to support a national responsible gambling strategy. More detailed recommendations are expected by summer 2010.
The recommendations are informed by the Commission' final RET report (October 2008), by the two rounds of consultation carried out for that report and by the Board's expert panels, which drew on a range of existing research and evaluation material. One key priority identified is for full and independent evaluation of existing and future treatment and prevention services. The recommendations include exploration of a clinical governance framework and a tiered, integrated approach to problem gambling services in partnership with the NHS; training for GPs, primary care practitioners and other relevant professionals to identify and screen for problem gambling; commissioning of a national telephone helpline and website; and the development of a programme of research around high stake, high prize gaming machines. The Board also emphasises the need to put in place proper systems of grant-making, including terms and conditions of grant and monitoring of expenditure and outputs, as well as new commissioning arrangements.
Once the Commission has responded to the recommendations, the RGSB will pass a strategic remit to the Responsible Gambling Fund (RGF), the body responsible for distribution of the funds raised by the gambling industry for RET purposes. RGF will then develop and fund programmes which reflect the RGSB's priorities.
Baroness Neuberger, Chair of the RGSB, commented "I look forward to the Gambling Commission's prompt response to our recommendations so that the RGF can take forward rapidly the Board's priorities and deployment of funds raised.
"Of course, development of a national responsible gambling strategy is ongoing. We will be talking in more detail to our stakeholders over the next six months or so to inform the Board's more detailed proposals due next summer."
Brian Pomeroy, Chair of the Commission said: "I am pleased to receive this first set of recommendations under the new structure designed to ensure that effective research, education and treatment programmes are delivered cost effectively. We expect to respond in detail shortly."
Gerry Sutcliffe, the Minister for Sport, said: "I welcome the progress made by the Strategy Board in developing its initial priorities for the research, education and treatment of problem gambling. Of course, the success of the strategy is dependent on the industry providing sufficient funds to support this important programme of work. I will be keeping a close eye on developments."
You can download the initial recommendations here.
The national responsible gambling strategy is coordinated through three bodies -the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board to advise on the research, education and treatment components of the national responsible gambling strategy a single purpose fundraising body (The GREaT Foundation) a distribution body (the Responsible Gambling Fund- RGF).
The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board
The RGSB was established at the beginning of this year, under the Chair of Baroness Neuberger, to develop and determine a national programme, highlighting priorities for research, education and treatment in relation to minimising risks from problem gambling, covering England, Scotland and Wales.
The Responsible Gambling Fund
The RGF was established in June 2009 to distribute the funds raised by the gambling industry to cover research, education and treatment programmes in support of a national responsible gambling strategy.
The Gambling Commission
The Commission keeps gambling fair and safe for all. It does so by keeping crime out of gambling, by ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly and openly, and by protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling. The Commission also provides independent advice to government on gambling in Britain.
The Commission is responsible for licensing and regulating all gambling in Great Britain other than the National Lottery and spread betting, which are the responsibility of the National Lottery Commission and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) respectively.
It brings together experts covering a range of interests including knowledge of the gambling industry, socially responsible gambling services, preventative education, public health, addiction and counselling services, epidemiological research and social research programme management.
Further information is available from the Commission's website at www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk