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Spencer speaks at Westminster Media Forum

EPIC Risk Management’s director of safer gambling, Dan Spencer, was given a high-profile opportunity to share the company’s thoughts on the recent UK Government white paper on gambling, thanks to an appearance at the Westminster Media Forum on ‘Next steps for gambling policy and regulation in the UK’.

Speaking alongside Lord Foster of Bath, chair of the Peers for Gambling Reform Group, the Rt Hon Lord Butler of Brockwell and several leading figures with roles in the gambling – and gambling harm prevention – ecosystem, Spencer outlined two key points that EPIC are keen to address in light of the long-awaited white paper, which was released in April following several years of evidence gathering into the regulation of the country’s gambling industry.

Firstly, he called for a focus on a prevention-based strategy to minimise gambling-related harm, an area that does not receive focus within the white paper. Citing some great work that is currently happening due to RET funding, he expressed a wish to see the new RET replacement, the mandatory levy, being sufficiently independently commissioned, so that the potential to deliver prevention-based projects can remain, and the momentum being generated by the current arrangement can continue.

His second point was to ensure we listen those affected by gambling-related harm closely within the consultations on how the white paper’s recommendations will be implemented. Spencer explained that the power of lived experience – which is at the heart of everything that EPIC do – is an asset that should be harnessed to ensure that any policies adopted will be meaningful and successful at mitigating the risks posed by problem gambling.

Reflecting on his presentation to the influential audience, Spencer explained:

“As thought leaders in how gambling harm can be prevented at EPIC Risk Management, we are aware of the responsibility placed upon us when we have the chance to speak on forums such as this, and as such, our suggestions for how we can achieve the safest possible gambling industry for the UK population stem from years of lived experience of gambling harm and what we have learned from putting this into practice in environments where the potential for future harm exists.

“Our points around a prevention-based strategy and listening to the lived experience of those who have experienced problem gambling are a viewpoint that we have firmly established through a decade of delivering successful programmes that utilise both of these strategies and have a positive impact in preventing future gambling-related harm.

“It is a blueprint that we believe can be followed by others to ensure that together we minimise the potential for future problem gambling and hold trust in the fact that the ongoing consultation period on the implementation of the white paper is the optimum time to ensure that this happens wherever possible.”

Details on the roll call of speakers that appeared on the Westminster Media Forum on ‘Next steps for gambling policy and regulation in the UK’ can be found here.

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