We Asked, You Said, We Did

You can see some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes on our website.

We asked

We initiated a discussion on the content of the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

We presented a draft Strategy that set out an overall public health approach to address the aim of reducing gambling harms, and contained five priority areas: Research to inform action, Prevention, Treatment, Evaluation, and Gambling businesses.

We asked respondents if they agreed with the approach, their views on the draft priorities, and with the actions we had proposed, including a key action for each priority that we would aim to progress as far as possible within the first year of the Strategy.

We also encouraged consumers, individuals and those affected by gambling harms to engage with the content of the strategy and to express their views on what is needed to reduce gambling harms.

You said

We received a spectrum of responses from regulators, public health bodies, individuals and businesses, with detailed comments on the proposed actions.

The great majority of respondents agreed with the aim of the Strategy to reduce gambling harms, and there was significant support for the public health approach and for the identified priorities and actions.

There was a number of suggestions on the presentation of the priorities, to help demonstrate that these are cross-cutting strands, and to help clarify the roles and responsibilities for partners who have committed to help to deliver the strategy.

We did

We have now published the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, and created a new website to track progress against the strategy www.reducinggamblingharms.org. We have committed to supporting the strategy with a full implementation plan, working with our partners across England, Scotland and Wales to do so. The first iteration of this plan was published at the end of July 2019.

Taking on board feedback, we restructured the Strategy to focus on two strategic priorities: Prevention and Education, and Treatment and Support. These are supported by four cross-cutting enablers: Regulation and Oversight, Collaboration, Evaluation and Research to inform action.

A summary of the detailed responses we received and the actions we have taken is set out in our Response Document.

We asked

The Gambling Commission consulted on a proposal to maintain transparency to customers when the exclusive horse-race pool betting licence ends on 12 July this year. To do this, we proposed extending the existing requirement, set out in our Licence conditions and codes of practice, that applied to pool betting on dog races, to also apply to horse-race pool betting.

In proposing this change, we considered that the transparency requirements should apply to all pool betting - for example dogs, horse-race, and football pool betting.

You said

We received responses from individuals, trade associations and business. The majority were in favour of the proposal for the purposes of transparency to consumers, and consistency between different forms of pool betting.

Two respondents supported the proposals but raised a number of queries about how to interpret the transparency requirements for horse-race pool betting, which they considered to be much more complex than pool betting on dog races and potentially requiring a degree of flexibility to accommodate those complexities.

One respondent considered that the proposals should be extended to cover additional areas such as the source of liquidity in pools.

We did

We have implemented the extension of existing requirements from pool betting on dog races to other forms of pool betting, including horse-race pool betting. This will come into effect from 13 July.

The detailed questions which were raised by respondents will be addressed in guidance to be made available on our website very shortly. This will set out further guidance on how to interpret the requirements relating to ‘potential dividend returns’ and ‘unit stakes’. This guidance reflects the  principle that consumers understand the bets being offered to them - what they could win in the case of win and place bets or what is available to be won for combination bets.

In due course, we will also issue guidance to businesses on further issues which we consider necessary to maintain basic transparency to consumers. This will cover liquidity and seeding of pools. Operators may choose various strategies to enhance prize pools, examples being but not limited to, offering minimum guaranteed returns or by purchasing entries within the pools (be that directly or indirectly). In circumstances where operators are applying strategies to their own pools, they should make all customers aware.  As a minimum, this information should be included in readily accessible terms and conditions. Operators must ensure that all customers are treated equally through the application of a single pool closing time and the provision of consistent information about pool sizes and selections made.