New ALLIANCE partnership programmes on reducing gambling harms

Type: News Item Date Published: 4th February 2020

The ALLIANCE will lead a national partnership programme to accelerate the national strategy to reduce gambling harms.

The ALLIANCE is commencing a significant programme of work to put the voices of people affected by gambling harms at the heart of action to reduce and prevent those harms.

The ALLIANCE will lead a national partnership programme over the next three years to accelerate the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, a strategy launched last April by the Gambling Commission.

The programme, funded through regulatory settlement (*) funds which are approved by the Commission, will put the voice of lived experience at the heart of the process.

In addition, the ALLIANCE will work with the Scottish Public Health Network to develop and implement a ‘whole population’ approach to prevention and the reduction of gambling harms, in public health partnership with the Glasgow Public Health Oversight Board.

In these projects, people with lived experience of gambling harms will be closely involved in co-producing a coordinated framework to underpin this work. Learnings from the project will help inform ‘whole system’ approaches to addressing gambling harms in Scotland.

News of the funding comes following the Commission’s Chief Executive Neil McArthur laying down three challenges to the industry last October to raise standards and reduce harm. Led by three industry working groups, leaders from across the industry are focusing on ethical game design, the use of advertising technology, and incentives for high value customers.

The ALLIANCE will enable people with lived experience to influence and inform these working groups by running workshops in Glasgow and helping to facilitate further sessions in London during March.

Professor Ian Welsh OBE, Chief Executive, ALLIANCE welcomed the award

“We believe that the person centred approach proposed in the new strategy is timely. There is scope for strong engagement with Scottish, UK and international colleagues in relation to efforts to reduce the harms that gambling can cause to individuals, families and society. The ALLIANCE has strong expertise in engaging people of lived experience in policy and practice development across health and social care in Scotland and is well placed to develop and host this work. This programme ensures that people with lived experience of gambling harms will be at the heart of co-producing the implementation of the Reducing Gambling Harms work in Scotland and will actively strengthen collaborative efforts with people, communities and cross sector organisations across the UK.”

Tim Miller, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission said

“The ALLIANCE has proven expertise in engaging people of lived experience in policy and practice development across Scotland’s health and social care sector so I am delighted they will be leading this work.

The programme will introduce the critical long-term structures needed to accelerate progress by all those working to reduce gambling harms. Ultimately, we want to see a framework which supports meaningful engagement with those with lived experience – and actions which are sustainable, safe and supportive.”

Professor Anna Van der Gaag CBE, Chair of the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG) added

“It’s recognised that successful delivery of the National Strategy will require the collective efforts and engagement from a wide range of stakeholders including the third sector and, most importantly, people with lived experience of gambling harms. These gambling-related harms are increasingly recognised as a public health issue requiring robust collective action. It is also crucial that we begin to build an understanding about gambling harms in a public health context, develop programmes and approaches to reducing harms and raise collective awareness of the personal and societal costs that can arise from gambling activities.”


Notes to editors

About the ALLIANCE

  • The Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE) is the national third sector intermediary for a range of health and social care organisations.  The ALLIANCE has over 2,900 members including a large network of national and local third sector organisations, associates in the statutory and private sectors and individuals.  Many NHS Boards and Health and Social Care Partnerships are associate members.
  • The ALLIANCE’s vision is for a Scotland where people of all ages who are disabled or living with long term conditions, and unpaid carers, have a strong voice and enjoy their right to live well, as equal and active citizens, free from discrimination, with support and services that put them at the centre.
  • In April 2019, the Gambling Commission launched the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. The three-year strategy calls for action and combined efforts to deliver two strategic priority areas:  Prevention and Education – making significant progress towards a clear public health prevention plan which includes the right mix of interventions. Treatment and Support – delivering truly national treatment and support options that meet the needs of users.
  • The Scottish Government’s approach to tackling gambling is in line with what is set out in the UK Gambling Commission’s National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. This strategy highlights the need for providing treatment and support services alongside preventative and education interventions to remove or reduce the harms resulting from gambling. In line with this, the Scottish Government is carrying out work to reduce inequalities and the causes of inequalities as part of its national Public Health Priorities.

 *In accordance with the regulatory settlement agreed with the Gambling Commission in lieu of a financial penalty, the monies represent a restricted donation to the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland to accelerate progress towards delivery of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms (and its successor) and to be allocated to projects approved by the Commission.

Further information, please contact Cath Cooney, Director of Development and Improvement telephone 0141 404 0231

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