A national strategy

GambleAware commissions research, education, prevention and treatment services to reduce gambling-related harms. In doing so, GambleAware aims in particular to implement the priorities set out in a national strategy advised by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) and endorsed by the Gambling Commission. Funding decisions are evidence-based and subject to available resources. The RGSB is the Gambling Commission's independent adviser and is responsible for generating an independent, unbiased, evidence-based national strategy to reduce gambling-related harms. GambleAware has published a Commissioning Plan for 2017-19 which will implement its elements of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy and deliver the RGSB’s Research Programme.

What does GambleAware mean by commissioning?

While there is no single definition of the term “commissioning”, GambleAware takes it to mean the commitment of financial resources by funders to relevant organisations (not limited to health and social care providers) with the aim of improving health and social outcomes by responding to local need, reducing inequalities and providing high-quality services. GambleAware is a grant-making body, with the aim of using best-practice aspects of commissioning, such as needs assessment, service planning and outcome reporting to support its ongoing role as a grant-funder of effective, evidence-informed, high-quality gambling-related harm support services. Underpinning this is a commitment to monitoring and evaluating services to ensure ongoing and continuous quality improvement of the grant-funding process.

Why commission services?

GambleAware commissions services in order to ensure three key objectives:

  • that grant funding is awarded to cost-effective gambling-related harm support services
  • that there is a clear understating and articulation of value for money
  • and that there are effective service-user focused outcomes.

Commissioning also allows for the provision of a range of evidence-informed high-quality services based on need and demand in target populations. The provision of a range of services, in different settings, catering to different levels of need, provides service-users with a range of choice on when and how they access support. The best practice aspects of commissioning represent good grant-making principles, to which GambleAware is committed. GambleAware’s commissioning in this way is in line with the commission and grant-making practices of most other health and social care commission and grant-making bodies.

Invitations to tender

The evaluation of bids in response to invitations to tender will be performed by GambleAware's Independent Research Review Group. This Group advises the Research & Evaluation Committee, which then takes the final decision. In the case of treatment and harm prevention-related invitations to tender, it is the GambleAware Education & Treatment Committee that reviews submissions and advises GambleAware's full board of trustees. The minutes of these meetings may list all the applicants as well as identifying those to whom grants are awarded.

If you wish to receive notification of any new invitations to tender that are issued by GambleAware, please email us and request to be added to the GambleAware 'ITT database'.


GambleAware takes the lead on evaluating all commissioned projects and programmes. In April 2016, RGSB published an Evaluation Protocol, agreed jointly between RGSB, GambleAware and the Gambling Commission.