The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) has rebranded as the ‘Advisory Board for Safer Gambling – ABSG’, reflecting its deeper focus on safer gambling initiatives and protections.

The policy advisory unit will rebrand ahead of Dr Anna van der Gaag CBE starting her tenure as new chair, replacing long-term incumbent Sir Christopher Kelly.

As the ABSG, the board will seek to continue offering independent advice and guidance to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).

It comes at a time where national policy stakeholders seeks to implement a new strategy over the next three years, ensuring the UK becomes the safest gambling marketplace for all its consumers.

Supporting the ABSG’s new identity, Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, commented: “We need to shift the focus from ‘responsible gambling’ to ‘safer gambling’.

“Responsible gambling suggests that the individual customer is principally in charge of keeping themselves safe. By focusing on safer gambling we want to emphasise that there is a clear onus on gambling operators to protect their customers.

“The ABSG, led by Anna, will continue to provide the crucial advice we need into the long-term delivery of the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms which launches later this month.”

Finalising its first statement as the ABSG, the advisory states that while working alongside the UKGC, it will launch its new  ‘national strategy to reduce gambling harms’ - focusing the priorities of supporting prevention and treatment initiatives rolled out by the UKGC.

Anna van der Gaag, added: “Our new name reflects the need for greater clarity about everyone’s roles in the delivery of the new strategy. Gambling harms are rightly recognised as a public health issue and I welcome the Gambling Commission’s new strategy with its strong focus on both prevention and treatment.

“As the ABSG, we will be bringing a renewed focus on the safety of consumers and prevention of harm, helping to ensure consumers are free from the consequences of gambling harms, that research priorities are high up the Commission’s agenda, and that we are listening and working closely with all our partners.”

In addition to the appointment of Dr van der Gaag, the ABSG has also confirmed it has recruited consumer protection specialist Louise Baxter to its board.