The U.K. Gambling Commission (UKGC) wants former gambling addicts to lend it a hand. It is looking for “12 lived experience advisors” that it can bring into a research project that would ultimately lead to the creation of gaming regulations based on the advisors’ input as it relates to the social ramifications of gambling. For their time, participants will be paid £270 ($350) for each meeting, which will be held one day a month.
The initiative is part of the UKGC’s larger “Lived Experience Advisory Group” (LEAG), which was launched this past summer under the guidance of the commission’s CEO, Neil McArthur. The goal of the group is to increase the UKGC’s knowledge of gambling addiction and protections, while understanding how to minimize risk. The inclusion of the new advisors will help it to be better prepared to offer advice and recommendations that will be used in the creation of future gaming policies and regulations.
Anyone with a link to problem gambling can apply; however, the UKGC wants to target those who have been into recovery for at least a year, and encourages “women, young people (over 18) and applicants from BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) communities” to apply. It adds, “[Applicants] will have experience of gambling related harm either as a former gambler yourself or as someone who has been affected because of the gambling harm caused to someone you care about. [They] will be committed to preventing gambling harm and helping improve safer gambling policies – such as the requirements placed on operators and how the Gambling Commission contributes to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.”
Those who work in the gambling industry or who hold senior management positions in companies that are funded by the industry are persona non grata for the group. The UKGC is particularly interested in those with gambling-related criminal convictions, as these have “very relevant experience of gambling harms…” However, anyone currently involved in a criminal investigation won’t be allowed to participate.
The advisors will need to be able to commit to meeting for a day each month, about six to eight hours. Out of the 12 chosen, one will be appointed as chair for the group, and this individual will need to be available twice a month. All meetings will be held remotely for the first six months, due to the COVID-19 situation, but live meetings could be held in the future. Applications for participation are now being accepted, and anyone interested has until November 10 to respond.