The Gambling Commission is working on a new three-year strategy in collaboration with partner organizations to help reduce perceived harms caused by gambling.
The strategy, entitled National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, will focus primarily on harms that can be inflicted on not only the gambler themselves but those around them. These include wider-reaching issues such as crime, health problems, and household debt.
In order to gather information on the views of the general public, the Gambling Commission has released a survey of nineteen questions.
The survey covers several priority areas including:
Prevention involves avoiding gambling-related harms before they happen and revolves mostly around education. Through information gathered in the survey, the commission hopes to continue building a framework of factors that may lead a person towards harmful behavior.
Another important aspect of prevention is moving away from the idea that gambling-related harms are the sole responsibility of the individual. The commission hopes to highlight the importance of a public health model that factors in environmental conditions that could increase harm.
In the event that prevention doesn’t work, the next priority area is the treatment of addiction. Already, several organizations exist around the world that can afford to help treat addiction via funding from donations. Many of these donations come from gambling businesses which are required to fund treatment but there are still many addicts who can’t access the help they need.
The commission hopes to gather vital information through the survey to help identify where holes in the system exist and how to repair them.
Organizations that profit from gambling, including casinos, bookies and online gambling sites, are another priority area. The commission hopes to encourage gambling businesses to do more to recognize customers who are at risk and develop effective interventions when necessary.
The survey enquires whether businesses feel its important to work together to gather evidence and research that could help identify problems in customers and develop effective means of intervention.
Research and Evaluation
Final priorities are research and evaluation, which are closely linked with the previous three areas and are key to delivering an overall effective solution.
The commission hopes to make use of the data currently held by gambling businesses, including behavioral patterns of gamblers, to improve upon current support models. The survey enquires whether individuals and businesses feel that this sensitive data, used in an entirely anonymous fashion, could be helpful in improving conditions for the overall industry and its users.
Mark is a freelance writer specializing in fintech, cryptocurrencies and gambling news. He writes for various publications on a wide range of finance and technology related topics and spends his free time traveling the world.