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Newsletter issue 3: August 2020

This third newsletter brings together recent publications about implementation of the National Strategy. The documents highlight progress made by partners to reduce gambling harms through implementing the National Strategy during the first year to April 2020, and some key recent developments. This newsletter focuses on implementation progress, measuring harms, research and evaluation to support Strategy delivery.

Strategy implementation update and progress report

Over the first year significant progress has been made towards implementing the Strategy and working towards the aim to go further and faster to reduce gambling harms, and a clear picture has emerged of the scale of actions partners are taking to deliver the Strategy, and importantly, where more needs to be done to make real progress.
An updated implementation actions map and summary overview have been published for year 1, with an indicative actions map for year 2. The implementation documents and map show that although Covid-19 has had some impact on delivering prevention and education programmes, this has mainly impacted on methods of delivery and engagement, or resulted in short delays to delivery.
Alongside these documents, the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling published their first annual progress report for the National Strategy, which highlights progress being made and includes a series of recommendations for action by partners involved in implementing the strategy.

Measuring gambling harms, impact and success

Since publishing the harms frameworks for adults and children, progress has focused on improving understanding around some of the more severe harms associated with gambling such as suicide and criminality, and proposals for alternatives to problem gambling prevalence methods to help understand the extent, nature and impact of gambling harms on individuals, families and society. Alongside the implementation updates, the Gambling Commission has published a paper setting out next steps for measuring gambling harms, impact and success, which draws together progress so far.

To help inform the approach to measuring gambling-related harms, the team from LSE that produced the methodologies and data scoping study paper have also produced an accompanying costing guide outlining economic approaches to measuring gambling interventions. The costing guide reiterates the need for varied approaches to capture the full range and all impacts of gambling-related harms across society, despite the difficulty this might subsequently cause for comparisons.

The guide also recommends utilising existing datasets, longitudinal data, economic modelling and discusses the potential of quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) as a measurement unit.

Research to inform action update

The Gambling Research Exchange (GREO) microsite has gone live, to supplement the research bulletin (sign-up link). The site draws together evidence reviews and research snapshots under the research programme to support the National Strategy. The site also includes a series of resources on safer gambling and Covid-19.
GambleAware have published a report examining the experience of women and gambling. This is based off secondary analysis of the data collected in the YouGov survey that was commissioned for the Treatment Gap Analysis project.
The analysis has found that female problem gamblers are more likely to be from a BAME background, be an ‘affected other’ and to cite stigma as a main barrier to treatment.

You can view the press release here and the full report here.

Evaluation update

The first phase of the evaluation of the multi-operator self-exclusion schemes (MOSES) has been published, focussing on the effectiveness of the process of planning and implementation of the schemes, including enablers and barriers to each scheme running efficiently, and provides baseline evidence of the impact of the schemes.

The evaluation found that schemes work well with membership models, that consumers find promotional materials easy to understand and the sign-up process is generally straightforward. There are indications so far that in the short-term, the schemes are proving effective for consumers. Areas for improvement include identifying self-excluded customers in non-membership models, staff training, increasing promotion of the schemes and better cross-promotion with schemes across sectors.
You can view the full report here. Phase 2 will focus on impact and will evaluate how effective Multi-Operator Self-Exclusion Schemes are in modifying harmful gambling behaviours.

Evaluations into Northern Gambling Clinic and GameChange cCBT programme
GambleAware have published two evaluation reports as part of their commitment to generate a 'what works for whom' evidence base: a formative process evaluation of the Northern Gambling Clinic Leeds Hub and also a formative process evaluation of the capacity and uptake of the GameChange cCBT programme.

National Strategy resource pack

A set of resources for National Strategy stakeholders is now available, including logos and a presentation slide deck template. Contact to request access.

Coming up 

The next newsletter will focus on particular themes related to the strategic priorities of Prevention and education, and Treatment and support.
If you would like to share your own work to support the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms please contact

You can sign up to the newsletter here.

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