Unveiled by the Minister for Sport & Civil Society, Mims Davies, the UKGC laid out a new three year plan to try and reduce gambling’s harmful effects on society.
The Gambling Commission announced yesterday that this new multifaceted, three year plan to Reduce Gambling Harms would herald a new, public health based approach to tackling the potential ills that gambling inflicts on society.
This new intersectional approach aims to unite charities, businesses and the regulatory bodies to the common cause of reducing gambling harm. As a hub for the new initiative, the GC has set up a new domain: www.reducinggamblingharms.org.
The two areas that the plan outlines for strategic focus are:
Prevention & Education – In other words, formulating a much clearer, more effective and wider strategy for preventing gambling harm as a national public health initiative.
Treatment & Support – Again, formulating a Treatment service which is effective and attainable for members of the public across the entire country.
Though these strategies are yet to be fleshed out, the Commission is effectively outlining its intent to widen its remit. Rather than just taking a regulatory and enforcement role, the GC wants to greatly improve its research capabilities in order to fully inform these strategies. The Gambling Commission has also outlined a plan to form a new National Research Centre, as well as creating a National Data Repository.
The Chairman of the Gambling Commission, William Moyes, emphasised the need for a body such as his not to just “count” problem gamblers. Rather, this strategy would create a wealth of knowledge and practical structures in building “an understanding of the harms experienced.”
He goes on to say;
“Over the lifetime of this strategy, we will better understand the full range of harms and how to protect against them.”
Mims Davies, the Minister who announced the plan, said; “The… strategy reflects our (the government’s) clear expectation that the whole sector must come together to reduce problem gambling and the harm it does to people and their families.”
Davies also emphasised the programme’s intended multifaceted approach; “Though increased research, education and treatment I want to see faster progress made in tackling this issue.”
Both the National Director for Mental Health at NHS England and the Director of Drugs, Alcohol, Tobacco and Justice at Public Health England have welcomed the Gambling Commission’s strategy and have announced their support of and involvement in the scheme.
To keep up to date with the initiative, visit www.reducinggamblingharms.org. If you think you might have a gambling problem then visit www.begambleaware.org or www.gamcare.org.uk for more information and support.