RGSB re-brands as the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling
The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) has re-branded and is now known as the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling (ABSG). The re-brand comes shortly before the publication of the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and is intended to reflect the board’s “sharper focus on safer gambling”.
The ABSG serves as an independent advisor to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and will continue to provide advice to the UKGC as it implements the new national strategy over the next three years.
The move was announced back in November 2018 but has taken effect this month. The position of chair was taken over by Dr Anna van der Gaag CBE from Sir Christopher Kelly, who served for six years in the role.
The ABSG board saw other changes earlier this year, as Louise Baxter, a consumer protection specialist, joined on a three-year fixed term.
Der Gaag thanked Kelly for his “tremendous leadership” and highlighted how the new brand would give the ABSG greater clarity towards its goal. Der Gaag said:
Gambling harms are rightly recognised as a public health issue and I welcome the Gambling Commission’s new strategy with its strong focus on both prevention and treatment. As the ABSG, we will be bringing a renewed focus on the safety of consumers and prevention of harm, helping to ensure consumers are free from the consequences of gambling harms, that research priorities are high up the Commission’s agenda, and that we are listening and working closely with all our partners.– Dr Anna van der Gaag, Chair Advisory Board for Safer Gambling.
The move comes as Neil McArthur, chief executive of the UKGC, says that regulators need to “shift the focus from responsible gambling to safer gambling”. The ABSG offers independent advice to the UKGC and will support it throughout the implementation of the new national safer gambling strategy. The strategy is set to be launched later this month on 25 April.
Speaking about the re-brand, McArthur said:
Responsible gambling suggests that the individual customer is principally in charge of keeping themselves safe. By focusing on safer gambling we want to emphasise that there is a clear onus on gambling operators to protect their customers. The ABSG, led by Anna, will continue to provide the crucial advice we need into the long-term delivery of the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms which launches later this month.– Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive