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Centre for Public Scrutiny to examine role of scrutiny in improving approaches to tackling gambling harms

The Centre for Public Scrutiny (CfPS) has issued a call for evidence as part of a new research project aimed at improving the scrutiny of activity to tackle gambling harms.

The CfPS said it would bring together research and evidence from around the country drawing on existing scrutiny activity and learning through practical work in three councils. The project is being supported by funding approved by the Gambling Commission.

The Centre is calling for local authorities to provide details of scrutiny work related to local strategies and activities to tackle gambling harms. It is also seeking expressions of interest from councils wishing to take part in local inquiry days providing an opportunity to access CfPS expert support and facilitation to explore in more detail local activity and identify areas where scrutiny could add value.

The insight and learning will be shared via national learning events and a new publication, the CfPS said.

Jacqui McKinlay, Chief Executive of the Centre for Public Scrutiny, said: “Tackling gambling harm is a growing priority in many areas but will be competing with many other issues for scrutiny attention. We are delighted to be supported by the Gambling Commission and other partners to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms to carry out this research and provide practical support. It is an excellent opportunity to identify and promote existing examples of good scrutiny practice, share learning and develop new approaches.”

Tim Miller, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission said: “Local authorities, through their licensing roles, are an essential part of the system of gambling regulation alongside us as the national regulator. Local government scrutiny has a vital role to play in supporting and providing oversight of local activity to tackle gambling harms across a range of partners. We know the harms associated with gambling can have significant impact on health and wellbeing, relationships, families, and society overall. Local action will be most successful when it is collaborative and evidence-led, and we welcome this project by CfPS which will highlight examples of best practice.”

The CfPS said it expected that guidance would be launched in the summer of 2020.