The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced the forming of an interim ‘Experts by Experience’ (EbE) group made up of individuals who have suffered from a wide range of gambling harms and addictions.

The group seeks to help the UK gambling body broaden its advice, recommendations and evidence with regards to policy-making on reducing gambling harms, raising safer gambling standards and understanding gambling’s impact on society.

It builds on the UKGC’s workshops, which saw a range of public health, civic, gambling and technology experts provide diverse perspectives on policies related to VIP customers, advertising technology and ‘safe game’ designs – three areas that the UKGC seeks to make rapid progress on.

In its statement, the UKGC emphasised the importance of consulting individuals with the ‘lived experience’ of being affected by gambling harms, including ‘recovering gambling addicts, family members and those who have lost children to gambling suicides‘.

Backing the EbE directive, UKGC CEO Neil McArthur, stated: “We will work with the interim group to co-create a formal Advisory Board, which will allow us to involve Experts by Experience more closely in the development of our regulatory framework.”

“It is early days and we are learning along the way to ensure that feedback and advice is utilised in the most effective way.  This week we looked at the subject of affordability and we’ll be focused on other areas of player protection online in the weeks ahead.”

The EbE group will advise the UKGC on an interim basis for the next six months, which will be followed by the commission forming a ‘permanent advisory group’, expanding the UKGC’s guidance offered by the existing Advisory Boards for safer gambling and digital technologies.

The UKGC has chosen not to disclose any members participating in its group, but cites that its guidance will form a valuable input on how the commission interprets consumer views on gambling gathered through research panels, consultations and further feedback areas.

A spokesperson for the Interim Group added: “The role that is too often allocated to Experts by Experience (EbEs) of telling our stories and commenting on narrowly defined questions is ineffective, so the establishment of the group is long overdue.”

“We are determined that EbEs should play a continuing and much more active role in the deliberations and decision making across the whole remit of the commission as part of the National Strategy to reduce gambling harms. We bring a new and vital perspective on key issues of regulation and even how the commission itself works.