BIT launched Gambling Policy & Research Unit

Simona Boshkova | Published 16 Sep 2021, 9:28 a.m.

The UK gambling industry is going through a lot of changes in the recent period. Along with the Gambling Act Review, there are different organisations and groups that work on reducing gambling harm in the state. 

For example, the UK Charity Gambling With Lives launched a gambling education program. The aim is to put attention to how gambling awareness education is delivered to young people.

Now, the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) launched the Gambling Policy & Research Unit. The purpose of the unit is to “develop and rigorously test methods and approaches that will significantly reduce harms in the market”.

The Unit is approved by the UKGC

The Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is one of the leading behavioural science research and consultancy organisations. As mentioned above, BIT launched the Gambling Policy & Research Unit, a dedicated team of specialists with a mandate to significantly reduce harms in the UK’s £14 billion gambling market.

BIT announced the launch of the new unit at the International Association of Gaming Regulators 2021 Conference. The Unit is funded through the regulatory settlements for socially responsible purposes which are approved by the UK Gambling Commission. It will be led by Aisling Ní Chonaire, Head of Consumer and Business Markets.

Since 2017, the Behavioural Insights Team has been working with a wide range of partners like GambleAware and bet365 and has played a critical role in reducing gambling harms. Now, with the special Unit, the BIT will contribute to DCMS that is currently reviewing the 2005 Gambling Act.

Partnering with key stakeholders

The Gambling Policy & Research Unit will fully use BIT’s expertise and resources. This includes data science and data analysis, qualitative research, trials, policy advice and recommendations, and developing and testing messaging for information campaigns.

On top of that, the Unit will partner with key stakeholders to scale successful interventions across the gambling market. For example, it’ll partner with banks to help the financial sector identify and support their most at-risk customers. Furthermore, the Unit will explore instances gambling is influenced and intersects with other sectors, to inform cutting-edge solutions.

Nida Broughton, BIT’s Director of Economic Policy, said:

“Behavioural effects fundamentally shape our choices over how much we spend, what we buy, and how we spend our time, and so are crucial to understanding and tackling gambling harms. 

The new Gambling Policy & Research Unit will allow us to develop and test brand new ideas to reduce the psychological, social and financial impacts of problem gambling on families so we can help make the UK not only the largest regulated gambling market in the world but also the most safely regulated.”

Tim Miller, Gambling Commission Executive Director, also commented on the announcement by adding:

“Tackling gambling harms is at the heart of our work as a regulator. The pilots that BIT will run will be an important step in identifying approaches that can make a real difference in reducing harm. That is why we were happy to approve funding for a project which will offer insights that can be drawn on by all partners to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.”


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