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Gambling Commission Acting CEO vows to make gambling safer, in financial summit speech

Acting Joint Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission,, Sarah Gardner, focused on vulnerability and gambling during her speech at the Shard Financial Vulnerability Summit 2021.

UKGC

Gardner said: “An issue that is key to how we tackle gambling harms and reducing risk in gambling, vulnerability is a topic that is often perceived quite narrowly; but it is increasingly being recognised across many sectors that the circumstances of vulnerability are complex and unique.”

Referring to statistics, she explained that the overall problem gambling rate is 0.4% of the population in the UK, while 0.6% of the population are at moderate risk of harm and 1.9% at low risk.

Gardner pointed out that none of these statistics “fully account for the many other lives, families and communities that are impacted by gambling harms."

The Financial Lives 2020 survey conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) showed that 46% (24.1 million people) of UK adults display one or more characteristics of vulnerability.

The Gambling Commission defines someone as ‘vulnerable’ when they believe the individual’s personal circumstances is susceptible to gambling harm. These include poor mental health making someone more likely to experience problem gambling.

Therefore, the Commission is introducing new measures to make online gambling products safer by design and removing features that could increase risk of problem gambling.

Gardner said: “We at the Gambling Commission continue to stand ready to work with and support others in this effort, that includes gambling operators.

“We know many gambling firms have had a tough year and tougher decisions to make to save jobs and livelihoods. We will work with those operators who step up to work with us.”

Critics of the Commission, however, maintain the regulator does not do enough to clamp down on malpractice from gambling companies.

 

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