William Eichler 26 April 2019

Commission launches strategy to reduce ‘gambling harms’

Commission launches strategy to reduce ‘gambling harms’   image

The commission dedicated to tackling the harmful impacts of gambling has launched a new three-year strategy designed to reduce ‘gambling harms’.

The Gambling Commission has partnered with health bodies, charities, regulators and businesses to deliver a public health prevention plan which emphasises education, treatment and support.

The commission says it will continue to take a ‘firm regulatory enforcement’ approach while also focusing on research into the negative impact of gambling.

It will also explore the establishment of a new National Research Centre and will build a National Data Repository for research purposes.

There are around two million adults who may be experiencing some level of harm from their gambling, including 340,000 people who are classified as problem gamblers in Great Britain.

‘This new strategy will provide us and our partners the opportunity to make faster progress to reduce gambling harms,’ said William Moyes, chairman of the Gambling Commission.

‘It will not just benefit the health and wellbeing of those directly affected and in need of support, but also those such as friends, families, communities and wider society.

‘The success of this strategy relies on everyone working together to reduce gambling harms through prevention and education, and treatment and support.

‘Everyone has a role to play to combat gambling harms and I’m delighted that the health sector, charities and businesses are showing their commitment to get behind the strategy and make it a success.

‘We all need to better understand the harms that can be caused by gambling, moving away from simply counting problem gamblers and instead build a greater understanding of the harms experienced.

‘Over the lifetime of the strategy we will better understand the full range of harms and how to protect against them.’

To support the new strategy, a new website has been launched where all information on the strategy’s priorities can be accessed.

Minister for sport and civil society Mims Davies, said: ‘Protecting people from harm should be at the heart of every gambling business. Addiction can ruin lives and it is vital that those who need help are given the right treatment at the right time.

‘The Gambling Commission’s strategy reflects our clear expectation that the whole sector must come together to reduce problem gambling and the harm it does to people and their families.

‘Through increased research, education and treatment I want to see faster progress made in tackling this issue.’

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