UKGC Appoints New Chair for the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board

By Alex Smith Nov 20, 2018

Dr Anna van der Gaag CBE has been appointed by the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission as the new Chair for the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB).

The RGSB is responsible for advising the Commission on research, education and treatments surrounding gambling-related harms, and Gaag will be joining the team with immediate effect. She succeeds Sir Christopher Kelly, whose term on the RGSB comes to an end at the end of March, 2019.

Anna is a Visiting Professor of Ethics and Regulation at the University of Surrey and she’s held regulatory roles in the health, social care and legal sectors. Anna also has a particular interest in how regulators can be proactive in the prevention of harm.

The current Chair of the Gambling Commission, Bill Moyes said: “It is with pleasure that we announce Dr Anna van der Gaag as the new Chair of RGSB. She brings with her a wealth of experience in health, social care and the prevention of harm that will be an asset in advising on how to implement the next National Strategy, which will launch in April 2019 and on which we will shortly be consulting.”

Speaking personally about her appointment, Dr Anna van der Gaag said: “Gambling-related harms are increasingly recognised as a public health issue requiring robust collective action. I am thrilled by this opportunity to join a team with such a passionate commitment to understanding and reducing harms and raising awareness of the personal and societal costs that can arise from gambling activities.”

The current Chair, Sir Christopher Kelly said: “I am delighted to welcome Dr Anna van der Gaag as my successor. Anna’s strong background in research and regulation provides a solid foundation to provide authoritative advice on the next strategy and to achieve our aim – to reduce the impact of gambling-related harms, especially among the most vulnerable.”

Dr Anna van der Gaag appears the ideal candidate – and she’s clearly qualified for the role. She was formerly the Chair of the Health and Care Professions Council, and she’s also a non-executive director at Health Education England, and the Kent Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network. She’s also a founding member of the Q Community – a quality improvement network which is is fronted by the Health Foundation.

In 2015, Gaag was awarded a CBE for services to health and care – and it’s clear that this competent woman is both knowledgeable and committed. Whether her new role in the Gambling Commission will prove to be a successful addition to her career remains to be seen – but judging by her previous job success, it’s likely we’ll see her perfectly fit the role.

A Tougher Stance On Responsible Gambling

Responsible gambling has been a prominent topic in the news recently, and the Gambling Commission have been working hard to ensure players have a number of protections in place to help prevent against problem gambling.

Ben Haden, programme director at the Gambling Commission said: “Our new three year strategy sets out our role in developing a strong evidence base and improved understanding of the impact gambling has on society. Today’s report makes an important contribution to that work as it presents a comprehensive view on how the British public is choosing the gamble and their attitudes to the current market.

“Our research shows the main factor that influences where someone gambles, is a company with a reputation for being fair and trustworthy. The message from that is clear – gambling companies that treat their customers well and act responsibly will be at an increasingly competitive advantage.”

By appointing a new Chair, the Gambling Commission is clearly looking to advance its responsible gambling measures – and it’s good to see they’re taking it seriously, and are actively working towards it.

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