We have set out in this strategy a vision of what a future world might look like in relation to responsibility in gambling, presented a set of five priority objectives for the next three years to help move closer to that ideal world, and outlined the specific steps necessary if those objectives are to be achieved.
We are more confident about the chances of moving forward in a constructive way than we were three years ago, in part because of the changed behaviour of many in the industry. But success will require sustained and unequivocal effort by all concerned. There is a great deal to be done. Action has to take place in a measured way, but at pace; and we need to experiment, evaluate and monitor progress regularly so that as change happens it is possible to reflect and learn about what is and is not working and implementation can respond flexibly and appropriately.
The most important next step for all stakeholders, including those that do not yet fully recognise the role they could and should be playing in this area, is to reflect on their own plans, assess the extent to which those plans measure up to the principles, objectives and priority actions set out in this strategy and make any necessary adjustments.
The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board is ready to help in this endeavour. We will want to talk to all relevant stakeholders over the next few months, including in particular the Responsible Gambling Trust, to firm up the nature and timetable for each of the priority actions and to agree appropriate milestones.
We understand that the Responsible Gambling Trust will shortly be publishing its own strategy, consistent with this one, and an update of its commissioning plan.
Over the next 12 months, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board will also:
- Embed and promote the practices and principles set out in the recently published Evaluation Protocol and in the soon to be published Research Commissioning and Governance Procedure.
- Work with others to develop a framework for measuring success and monitoring progress and impact. The framework will need to be completed in time for the first annual review of this strategy, in 12 months’ time.
- Initiate the annual review, working with others.
- Work with the Responsible Gambling Trust and others to cost the strategy. We aim to complete this assessment by Autumn 2016. Depending on the result, further work may be needed to consider the implications.
- Progress those priority actions in which we have a shared lead responsibility (priority actions 2, 4, 10, 11 and 12).
- Prepare a research strategy, setting out an independent view of the topics that should be explored and research questions that need to be addressed over the strategy period.
- Provide advice to the Gambling Commission on the triennial review of stakes and prizes, in line with the timetable yet to be set.
- Continue to provide advice to the Commission on other responsible gambling issues, as the need arises.
In all we do, we will continue to seek better ways to work co-operatively with all our stakeholders in pursuit of common objectives. We will also ensure that we continue to be independent, objective, impartial and transparent in giving our advice and, where necessary, in holding ourselves and others to account.