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Reducing Gambling Harms resources

These resources provide guidance to the national, regional and local work and evidence available for licensing, public health and other staff in addressing gambling harm.

Published: 5 January 2021

Last updated: 1 December 2023

This version was printed or saved on: 8 December 2023

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/authorities/guide/reducing-gambling-harms-resources

Overview: ## The Commission's position

The National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms was launched by the Commission in April 2019 and ran until April 2022.

We have published a background paper (PDF)(opens in new tab) for local authorities and local public health providers setting out a rationale for gambling harm being treated as a public health issue as well as a quick guide (PDF)(opens in new tab) for licensing, public health and related teams to explain the benefits of working together to address gambling harms.

National initiatives

England

The LGA and Public Health England's guidance note (opens in new tab) explains the need for a ‘whole council’ approach to tackling gambling related harm.

The Westminster Government's priorities (opens in new tab) for Public Health England for 2018/19 includes, for the first time, reference to gambling harm (page 6).

Wales

Two Bangor University reports (opens in new tab) consider how gambling can be addressed in a public health context and include a series of recommendations as to how this might be implemented.

The second chapter of the Chief Medical Officer for Wales 2017 to 18 report Gambling with our Health (opens in new tab), focuses on the emerging public health issue of gambling related harm in Wales.

Nationwide

The new NHS Long Term Plan (opens in new tab), for the first time, includes a commitment to address gambling harm. The Plan commits to ‘expanding geographical coverage of NHS services for people with serious gambling problems, and work with partners to tackle the problem at source.’ (pg43)

Change to The Royal Society for Public Health (opens in new tab) (RSPH) has established a Gambling Health Alliance (GHA) with the support of GambleAware. The new Alliance seeks to ensure that gambling and the harms which arise from it are placed on an equal footing with other major public health challenges, focussing on prevention, early intervention, and increased community engagement.

Building the evidence base

Measuring gambling-related harms, a framework for action (opens in new tab) (July 2018) published by the Commission, in collaboration with the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and Gamble Aware looks at how we might understand the range of harms gambling can have on individuals, families, communities and society.

The three year research programme (opens in new tab) to support the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms has been published.

Citizens Advice research (opens in new tab) into the causes and impacts of problem gambling and gambling related harms estimates that for every problem gambler, between 6 and 10 additional people are directly affected.

A pilot study (Beacon Trust 2018) (opens in new tab) of people held in custody suites identified 13% were at risk of, or experiencing, gambling harm.

Public Health England regularly update their health profiles (opens in new tab) for each LA area. Health profiles highlight local issues and priorities for Health and Wellbeing Boards.

The organisation Money and Mental Health (opens in new tab) have a range of documents specifically focused on gambling, including one which looks at gambling behaviour and mental health.

The IPPR think tank's report (2016) (opens in new tab) explores the fiscal costs of problem gambling to the UK economy.

Local initiatives

Rural Councils will be interested to read of the progress made by Devon County Council’s (opens in new tab) Scrutiny Committees in producing a Spotlight Report (opens in new tab) about gambling harm as well as an action plan for how to address the issues.

Sheffield City Council’s (opens in new tab) Joint Strategic Needs Assessment includes a chapter on gambling harms (opens in new tab), identifying it alongside more ‘traditional’ harms such as alcohol and drugs.

The Association of Directors of Public Health Yorkshire and Humber (opens in new tab) have published a framework to reduce gambling harms (opens in new tab) and it is designed as a practical aid for other local authorities in addressing the issue.

Wigan Council (opens in new tab) have published a feature article in the Commission's LA Bulletin in August 2019 and on their website, about a harmful gambling awareness process across the workplace (opens in new tab) , including their wider partner network.

Stockton’s Adult Social Care and Health Select Committee have published their report (opens in new tab) reviewing gambling in the borough. The focus is on gambling related harm and includes a series of recommendations about how to address the issue, mitigate risks and promote a safer approach to gambling.

Research (PDF) (opens in new tab) by Leeds City Council (opens in new tab) identified a number of serious issues as to how gambling related support was being delivered, a lack of screening for gambling harm as well as a lack of awareness about the services available to frontline staff.

Warrington Council’s Protecting the Most Vulnerable Committee (opens in new tab) has drawn together a cross agency multi-disciplinary group to address gambling harms in the Borough and develop pathways for those that need support.

Wirral Council’s (opens in new tab) Director of Public Health has published their Annual Report (2018) (opens in new tab) which focuses on harmful gambling. In particular it looks at the impact on local residents and the importance of the issue in a public health context.

In Brighton and Hove (opens in new tab) Public Health contributed significantly in the development of a Local Area Profile (opens in new tab), or heat map, to identify social groups and geographic locations where gambling risk/vulnerability is greatest.

Harrow Council (opens in new tab) have used their website to highlight the issue of problem gambling and where citizens can obtain help and support.

Swindon Council (opens in new tab) have conducted a Rapid Health Needs Assessment (opens in new tab) to establish the scale and costs of gambling harms in the city as well as a broader range of factors to help them take a public health approach to the issue.

In 2018 GambleAware (opens in new tab) announced a £1.5m partnership with Citizens Advice (opens in new tab) designed to help front line staff better understand, prevent and reduce gambling related harms – to be delivered via 10 hubs in England and two in Wales. They are as follows:

North West

Citizens Advice Wirral
Website: citizensadvicewirral.org.uk (opens in new tab)
Contact: james.callaway@citizensadvicewirral.org.uk

North East

Citizens Advice Gateshead
Website: citizensadvicegateshead.org.uk (opens in new tab)
Contact: GSSNorthEast@citizensadvicegateshead.org.uk (Evan)

East Midlands

Citizens Advice Mid Mercia
Website: www.citizensadvicemidmercia.org.uk (opens in new tab)
Contact: gstenson@citizensadvicesouthderbyshireandcity.org (Greg)

West Midlands

Citizens Advice Dudley and Wolverhampton
Website: www.citizensadvicedudley.org (opens in new tab)
Contact: gamblingsupport@citizensadvice.org.uk or siobhan.giddens@dudleycabx.org

South East (South Northants, Oxon, Bucks, Berks, Beds)

Citizens Advice North Oxfordshire & South Northants
Website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/north-oxon-south-northants (opens in new tab)
Contact: chris.webster@cano.org.uk

South East (Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Surrey, east Sussex, west Sussex and Kent)

Citizens Advice Hampshire
Website: citahants.org (opens in new tab)
Contact: gss@citahants.org
Consortia - does not provide advice (but in partnership with some Local Citizens Advice who are home-based)

London Boroughs

Citizens Advice East End
Website: eastendcab.org.uk (opens in new tab)
Contact: hmattison@eastendcab.org.uk (Harvel)

South West

Citizens Advice Central Dorset
Website: centraldorsetca.org.uk (opens in new tab)
Contact: lizzie.kingsbury@centralca.org.uk

East England

Citizens Advice Stevenage
Website: www.stevenagecab.org.uk (opens in new tab)
Contact: lamprini.bikou@castevenage.org.uk (Lina)

South and West Wales

Citizens Advice Rhondda Cynon Taff
Website: carct.org.uk (opens in new tab)
Contact: caitlin.tempest@carct.org.uk

Mid and North Wales

Citizens Advice Denbighshire
Website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk/local/denbighshire (opens in new tab)
Contact: jacob.kendall@dcab.co.uk

What tools are available?

GambleAware (opens in new tab) has published research to further our understanding of the relationship between gambling and homelessness (opens in new tab), and to develop three instruments to be used by practitioners working with the homeless which can assist them in identifying and responding to gambling-related harms in this population.

NHS Choices have an online section offering advice (opens in new tab) and help for people who think they may have a problem gambling issue.

GambleAware (opens in new tab) has produced a brief intervention guide for frontline workers (PDF) (opens in new tab) to address risks and harms related to problematic gambling.

The Commission has published a briefing note (opens in new tab) suggesting steps that licensing and public health teams can take in developing a ‘whole Council’ approach to gambling harm.

The Royal Society for Public Health (opens in new tab) have developed an e-learning resource (opens in new tab) to assist front line staff in providing a brief intervention to address the risks and harms associated with problem gambling.

Safeguarding and gambling

Sheffield Safeguarding Board (opens in new tab) has developed an extensive range of materials for use both by gambling operators and other agencies concerned with protecting the young and the vulnerable.

East Riding Council’s website provides detailed advice to gambling operators regarding their expectations of protecting the young and vulnerable and CSE issues (opens in new tab).