Gambling Commission introduces permanent “lived experience” panel

Great Britain’s regulator, the Gambling Commission, has created a permanent Lived Experience Advisory Panel, made up of people “with a wide-range of lived experience of gambling harms, including people affected by someone else’s gambling”.


The advisory panel will meet for the first time this week. Among the topics that it will inform on will be the review of the 2005 Gambling Act, which launched in December 2020.

“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,” a panel spokesperson said.

“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 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.”

It takes over from the interim “Experts by Experience” group, a similar body founded in June 2020, also made up of those affected by gambling-related harm. The group provided advice, evidence and recommendations to the Commission, including recommendations related to the controls the Commission introduced for online slot games this week.

“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,” Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur said. “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.”

Despite the launch of the Experts by Experience group in June 2020, a report in September of that year commissioned by GambleAware said that there was little evidence that those with experience of gambling-related harm are involved in discussion of the subject. Following the report's release, GambleAware called for a fully-funded and independent lived experience body.

In addition, the Commission also published the latest update on the delivery of its strategy to reduce gambling harms. The update is now available through an interactive “actions map” allowing stakeholders to more easily view updates within specific areas.

Among the updates made so far in 2021 were the publication of a GambleAware-commissioned study into player-set deposit limits, which found that players are more inclined to set lower limits if they are given a free choice of amounts rather than a drop-down list of suggestions.

Other progress included medical journal The Lancet launching its first commission on gambling-related harm, which it called an “urgent, neglected, understudied and worsening public health predicament”.