The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has set up an interim group of ‘Experts by Experience’ (EbE) composed of individuals who have suffered a variety of gambling harms and addictions.
The group will expand the UKGC ‘s advice, recommendations and evidence on policy-making to reduce gambling harms, raise standards for safer gambling and understand the impact of gambling on the society.
The formation of the EbE network follows the March seminars of the UKGC, which saw a number of specialists on public safety, civics, gaming and development give broad viewpoints in legislation pertaining to VIP clients, advertisement technologies and ‘safe game’ developments – three fields in which the UKGC aims to make significant progress.
The UKGC stresses in its declaration the importance of engaging people with the ‘lived experience’ of gambling risks, including ‘recovering gambling addicts, family members, and those who have lost children to gambling suicide.’
Under the EbE Directive Neil McArthur, CEO of the UKGC, said: “We will work with the interim group to co-create a formal Advisory Board, which will allow us to involve Experts by Experience more closely in the development of our regulatory framework.”
“It is early days and we are learning along the way to ensure that feedback and advice is utilised in the most effective way. This week we looked at the subject of affordability and we’ll be focused on other areas of player protection online in the weeks ahead.”
The EbE committee will advise the UKGC on an temporary basis for the next six months, and will be followed by the Commission establishing a ‘permanent advisory group’, extending the UKGC’s advice provided by the current Advisory Councils on healthier gaming and emerging technology.
The UKGC has chosen not to disclose any members participating in its group, but cites that its guidance will provide valuable input on how the Commission interprets consumer views on gambling gathered through research panels, consultations and further areas of feedback.
A spokesman for the Interim Group said: “The role that is too often allocated to Experts by Experience (EbEs) of telling our stories and commenting on narrowly defined questions is ineffective, so the establishment of the group is long overdue.
“We are determined that EbEs should play a continuing and much more active role in the deliberations and decision making across the whole remit of the Commission as part of the National Strategy to reduce gambling harms. We bring a new and vital perspective on key issues of regulation and even how the Commission itself works.”