UKGC sets out "commitment to preventing harm to consumers"

UKGC sets out "commitment to preventing harm to consumers"

Thursday, August 9, 2018 Posted by Michael Lawson
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The UKGC plea comes just weeks after the RGSB published a report.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has set out a commitment to prevent “harm to consumers”, while issuing an industry plea for further collaboration, related to research on the prevention of gambling related harm.

Announcing its support for new research, which is set to explore if certain gambling products and environments are more harmful than others, the UKGC is enhancing its strategies and commitments to preventing harm for customers.

Ben Haden, UKGC Programme Director, said: “Our strategy sets out our commitment to preventing harm to consumers from the risks gambling can pose. Success of this relies on growing our evidence base, to better understand the types of gambling products and services that present more of a risk of harm to consumers than others.

“Gambling firms have an important role to play in achieving this, as they hold comprehensive data that is vital to this research. It goes beyond simply analysing the data which is already reported to us by operators, and we will be encouraging the industry to get involved.”

The UKGC announcement came after a Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) report was published last month with the aim of gauging a greater understanding of the full range of harms gambling can have on society.

Led by Dr Heather Wardle, and in collaboration with the UKGC and GambleAware, the report examined how the social cost of gambling-related harms can be measured and better understood.

Wardle described the report as “a dramatic step forward in our understanding of gambling. It represents a sea change in thinking about gambling as it recognises that gambling isn’t something that affects just a few individuals but extends far beyond them to affect their families, communities and society.”

McArthur added: “While the majority of consumers can enjoy gambling without experiencing harm, we cannot forget the devastating effects it can have on some individuals, families and communities.

“This report shows significant progress in understanding those effects and measuring the impacts on wider society and the economy as a whole. We do not see this as a definitive position – it’s very much a work in progress.

“We encourage public health officials, academics, the industry and the public to feed back on the report and work with us to set a framework that can help prevent harm to consumers.”

Totally Gaming says: A number of industry bodies have expressed a desire to tackle the ill-effects of problem gambling, and that can only be a positive thing for all involved in the industry. Time will tell if said bodies can back this up with level-headed, well-thought-out campaigns.

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