GambleAware seeks data to evaluate areas of problem gambling

GambleAware seeks data to evaluate areas of problem gambling

Monday, August 13, 2018 Posted by Luke Massey
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The charity has commissioned more gambling-related research

GambleAware, the independent charity tasked to fund research, education and treatment services to help to reduce gambling-related harms in Great Britain, has commissioned yet another body of problem gambling-related research. This latest study will explore whether some gambling products and environments have the potential to cause more harm than others.

Information about consumer gambling activity will be used as part of the extensive research project which is being jointly supported by the Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB). It will examine areas across the gambling spectrum including high street and online gaming.

Clare Wyllie, director of research commissioning at GambleAware, said: “GambleAware is pleased to be working with the Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board on a project that will help us to better understand gambling behaviour across different products and to know what characteristics are most strongly associated with harm - focusing on the online sector in the first phase and moving onto other sectors in subsequent phases.

“For the first time, we will be able to look comprehensively across the gambling industry to understand where the risk of harm lies and by making data available to researchers, industry can gain new insights to prevent harm and to ensure customers gamble safely.”

Gambling operators will be asked to provide the data, so it can be used to understand how products, environments and characteristics vary – and importantly, identify those more associated with harmful play. The aim is to strategically request data from operators that can potentially be reused, where relevant, for further research projects.

Working with the Commission, RGSB has published a research brief, which sets out the proposed approach to the research. Once the research team is in place, operators will be contacted by the Commission to explain how they can get involved at an early stage.

Ben Haden, programme director at the Gambling Commission, 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.”

He added: “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.”

Totally Gaming says: The pursuit of knowledge is an admirable thing – especially if that knowledge results in answers that will lead to a reduction in problem gambling. Will this latest GambleAware research achieve that? It’s a valid question given that since 2013 there have already been 31 GambleAware studies into problem gambling. In that time the percentage of problem gamblers, while still relatively low, has actually slightly increased. Read into that what you will.

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