Gambling Commission reveals permanent “lived experience” advisory panel

The UK’s gambling regulator has announced the creation of a permanent lived experience advisory panel.

The UK’s gambling regulator, the Gambling Commission, has announced the formation of a permanent Lived Experience Advisory Panel, which is made up of people with “lived experience of gambling harms.”

The Lived Experience Advisory Panel will join the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and the Digital Advisory Panel as a formal group who advise the regulator.

The Lived Experience Advisory Panel

The new panel will continue the work of the interim Experts by Experience group, which was formed last year. According to the Commission, the new panel will provide advice, evidence and recommendations to the Commission to raise standards and inform decision making.

One of the topics the panel will inform on will be the review of the 2005 Gambling Act which launched in December 2020.

In its announcement, the Commission explained that the panel’s first meeting took place this week and consists of people with a wide-range of lived experience of gambling harms, including people affected by someone else’s gambling

A spokesperson on behalf of the Lived Experience Advisory Panel said: “We are pleased that the Gambling Commission has recognised the importance of listening to people who have been harmed by gambling and welcome their real commitment to ensuring that this can happen.

“The creation of this group creates a real opportunity for the voice of those with lived experience to support and influence the work of the Gambling Commission. We are a diverse group of people and bring a wide range skills and personal experience of gambling harm. We take this role seriously and look forward to working together as a group to make progress in tackling gambling harm.”

Gambling Commission Chief Executive, Neil McArthur said: “The establishment of this group is a great step forward for us in our work in making gambling safer and building our understanding of harm and its impacts. As already proven by the input of the Interim Group, the views and perspectives of Lived Experience in our decision making is invaluable and is already having a positive impact in our work in addressing gambling-related harm.

“Lived Experience feedback in our policy work has already led to progress through input to consultations on game design and customer interaction and affordability and strengthened online advertising rules.”

Gambling Commission Chair, William Moyes said: “I welcome today’s announcement of the permanent Lived Experience Advisory Panel, which is a positive step towards better understanding harms caused by gambling. By collaborating with those with lived experience, friends, families and communities we can make faster progress to reduce gambling harms.”

New restrictions on slot games

The Commission’s announcement of the new advisory panel comes after it outlined a new package of restrictions for online slot games earlier this week.

From 31 October, all licensed online gambling operators must remove all features and technical slot elements that relate to autoplay functions, making slots spin faster than 2.5 seconds, quick spin functionality and Gameplay sounds or imagery which give the illusion of a win when the return is in fact equal to, or below, a stake.

The Commission will also implement a permanent ban on reverse withdrawals, which is when a customer can re-gamble money that they had requested to withdraw. Operators must also clearly display to the player their total losses or wins and time played during any online slots session.

According to the regulator, there is evidence to suggest that reverse withdrawals present a risk to players due to the temptation to continue gambling.

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