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Introduction to the strategy

This is the strategy which the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board proposes for the three years 2016-17 to 2018-19 to encourage responsibility in gambling, to reduce or mitigate gambling-related harm, and to increase the protection of the vulnerable.

Whose strategy? 

The strategy is more likely to achieve its objectives if it is, as intended, adopted by all stakeholders – gambling operators, regulators, commissioning organisations, Government, trade bodies, treatment providers and a number of other public agencies. 

For this reason, we consulted widely in the strategy’s development. This final version has benefitted from many constructive comments, reflecting a wealth of expertise and experience. It would be unrealistic to expect every stakeholder to agree with every detail. But we believe there is a broad degree of agreement about the essential characteristics, especially the priority actions for the next three years. 

Scope  

The strategy needs to address all forms of gambling. Gambling-related harm can occur in all types of venues, whether online or land-based. It can be associated with all types of gambling, including the National Lottery. An effective strategy needs to recognise this plurality. It also needs to acknowledge potentially different risks associated with different forms of gambling. 

Nor can it focus solely on the individual gambler. It needs also to encompass products, environments and marketing and the wider context in which gambling occurs. Restrictions on, or interventions related to, any of these aspects can form an appropriate part of a balanced approach to minimising gambling-related harm, as they would in respect of any other public health issue. 

Structure 

The rest of the strategy is structured as follows: 

  • Part II describes the context 
  • Part III sets out the vision underlying the strategy 
  • Part IV presents five priority objectives for the next three years 
  • Part V describes the key principles on which the strategy is built 
  • Part VI indicates the priority actions that should be taken to support the five priority objectives 
  • Part VII briefly sets out how we intend to go about assessing the resources needed to implement this strategy 
  • Part VIII suggests some of the facilitating factors which will be critical to success 
  • Part IX explains briefly how we intend to assess progress 
  • Part X describes the next steps.