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DCMS has commissioned the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) to investigate the Gambling Act Review.

The retrospective comes at the tail end of the UK’s gambling reform process, as the final regulations are hammered out following consultations with stakeholders and interested parties.

After both major political parties included gambling reform as a manifesto commitment, the Gambling Act Review was born in December 2020.

The long-awaited product of this review, the Gambling Act white paper, faced repeated delays prior to its final publication in April 2023 due to political turmoil in Britain.

Among the final recommendations was a statutory levy to fund RET projects, stake limits for online casino, new limits on incentives and – most controversially – affordability checks.

The NatCen’s project will establish an evaluation design to assess the effectiveness of the Gambling Act Review in preventing gambling harms for individuals and communities.

Following completion, the social research organisation will create an evaluation plan that will look at approaches and recommendations for full a evaluation of the process.

Questions that will be considered during the process include whether there is an appropriate balance between consumer freedoms and prevention of harm.

That customers are protected during gambling, and that the regulations are fair between the land-based and digital industries, will also be considered.

“The past decade has seen a significant shift in the perspective of gambling harms, and this contract is pivotal in providing feasible approaches and practical recommendations,” said NatCen director of health policy Dr Sokratis Dinos.

“This evaluation will consider the extent to which measures have effectively prevented gambling-related harm to vulnerable groups and wider communities, while enabling the balance of consumer freedom and informed choice and explore the wider impact on gambling behaviours and the market.”

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