GC names new chair for responsible gambling advisory body

20 November 2018

The UK Gambling Commission has appointed one of the country’s leading social care experts as the new chair of its Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB).

Dr Anna van der Gaag will join the RGSB as a member immediately but not take on her new role until current chair, Sir Christopher Kelly, finishes his term in March 2019. The RGSB operates as the expert advisory arm of the UK regulator, specialising in the research, education and treatment required to combat and reduce gambling-related harms.

A visiting Professor of Ethics and Regulation at the University of Surrey, Van der Gaag has held a number of high-profile roles across the health, social care and legal sectors.

She spent time as chair of the Health and Care Professions Council and is also a non-executive director at Health Education England and the Kent Surrey and Sussex Academic Health Science Network. Van der Gaag is also a founding member of the Q Community, a quality improvement network led by the Health Foundation.

Van der Gaag was named a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) in recognition for her services to health and care in 2015.

Commenting on her new role, van der Gaag noted that gambling-related harms were becoming increasingly recognised as a public health issue that required "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.”

Bill Moyes, chair of the Gambling Commission, added: “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.”

In April 2016, the RGSB published its three-year National Responsible Gambling Strategy, with the aim of clamping down on gambling-related harm. The strategy, due to run until next year, set the agenda for various organisations such as gambling operators, regulators, government, trade bodies, commissioning organisations, treatment providers and other public agencies.