The Authority’s main objective is to safeguard players and society from gambling related harm while fostering and supporting a sustainable gambling sector. To achieve this goal, the NBA developed the Responsible Gaming Action Plan for 2018–2022, outlining the Authority’s strategic direction regarding responsible gambling and minimising the negative effects of problem gambling. The goal of this Action Plan was to set principles and guidelines for the implementation of various initiatives and the coordination of partnerships between stakeholders regarding responsible gambling. This Action Plan was the NBA’s first effort to establish a structured framework for the prevention of gambling harm and protection of society from problem gambling.
The Authority has drafted its Safer Gambling Strategy for 2022–2025 (hereinafter referred to as the “Strategy”) to build and improve upon its previous strategic plan and taking into consideration the shift towards a public health approach to gambling harm. Keeping players and communities safe while realizing the social and economic benefits of gambling is at the heart of a public health approach to safer gambling. Since the introduction of the first Responsible Gaming Action Plan, the adoption of a safer gambling lens has increased globally. The idea of “responsible gaming” suggests players are primarily responsible for protecting themselves, whereas “safer gambling” acknowledges that in addition to individual responsibility, it is also the responsibility of the state and its institutions, gambling
operators, and all stakeholders involved to ensure the external factors that can negatively impact people who gamble are addressed. Safer gambling is rooted in a public health approach which aims to reduce harms from gambling across society.
Public health approaches to gambling reflect an evolution in the understanding of gambling-related harms in four main ways:
- Drivers of gambling harms are complex, and many occur outside of an individual’s direct control
- There are individual, community, and societal benefits and costs to gambling
- Prevention and treatment strategies should target all levels of harms
- Preventing and reducing gambling-related harms requires collaboration
This new strategic approach is fundamental for the Authority to progress its vision and mission of a fair, transparent, and safe gambling sector focused on reducing gambling-related harms.
The Strategy is evidence-based, makes good use of best practices, and includes a measurement framework that supports quantifying, monitoring, and evaluating the effectiveness of the strategic actions and initiatives taken to enact the Strategy. Action plans that complement the Strategy will outline the priority areas, initiatives, and key indicators for monitoring the success and effectiveness of the initiatives for each year.