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Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

ABSG progress report 2020

  1. Contents
  2. Developing prevention for high risk groups

Developing prevention for high risk groups

Initiatives have also been developed to target groups at higher-risk of gambling related harms.

  • Healthy Stadia: Targeting spectators at sporting events, this is a pilot of a stadium-based education programme to reduce the incidence of unhealthy gambling behaviour.
  • PRoGRAM-A: A peer delivery prevention programme for secondary school pupils focusing on understanding the potential risks of gambling.
  • YGAM National Education Programme for Children and Young People: An awareness development programme targeting parents, families and wider networks.

Case study 5: The Howard League64

The Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling was set up by the Howard League for Penal Reform following a regulatory settlement. The Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling is made up of academics, professionals and people with lived experience of addiction. Launched in June 2019, it will run for three years and aims to answer three questions:

  • What are the links between problem gambling and crime?
  • What impact do these links have on communities and society?
  • What should be done?

The first stage of its work was a review of the evidence of links between crime and problem gambling across six areas (Australasia, USA, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia and the UK)65. The literature review has revealed useful insights.

Prevalence of problem gambling among prisoners (a population excluded in the Health Surveys) is internationally recognised as being higher than that of the general population. Evidence suggests problem gambling rates are five to ten times higher in prisons than in in the general population. Research also suggests there is little treatment and support for problem gamblers in prison, There is also some evidence of resistance to undertaking treatment whilst in prison as a result of the stigma attached to gambling addiction.

As the review continues it will collect further evidence from the UK and other jurisdictions and make recommendations on steps that can be taken to reduce gambling-related crimes and to support those who are affected.


64 Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling, The Howard League for Penal Reform

65 Crime and problem gambling, a research landscape. Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling, 2020

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