The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reiterated the need for its ‘multi-agency approach’ that has been applied through its National Strategy to reduce gambling harms launched in 2019.
An update by Rob Burkitt, the Commission’s policy lead on shared regulation, highlighted the importance of local authorities’ support of the National Strategy to achieve a shared objective to reduce gambling harms impacting communities.
Burkitt stated that a multi-agency approach was necessary as the Commission ‘doesn’t have the resources, remit or powers’ to achieve the objectives set out in the strategy by itself.
“Even before the strategy was introduced, there had been considerable local authority (LA) interest in gambling harm as a public health matter. LAs in Leeds, Sheffield and Birmingham were keen to look at gambling in a similar way to the approach they already applied for issues like alcohol and drugs,” Burkitt noted.
Supporting its collaboration with local authorities, the UKGC achieved its objective of expanding the National Strategy’s stakeholder network, including participation by the bodies of the Local Government Association and the Institute of Licensing.
The success of a local approach has led UKGC to fund two projects by Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Yorkshire and Humber Public Health allowing the Strategy to gain greater oversight on impacts recorded within the regions.
The Commission outlined further benefits of a multi-agency approach, that led to local authorities sharing best practices on problem gambling support, and with the Commission’s strategy benefitting from direct feedback from participating authorities.