The UK Gambling Commission launched a three-year initiative across Wales, aimed at reducing gambling harms.
By partnering with Welsh charities, regulators and health bodies, the UKGC intends to tackle the issue of problem gamblers in Wales.
The National Strategy was revealed at an event held in Cardiff, where the UKGC called for action by targeting two vital priority areas:
- Prevention and Education
- Treatment and Support
It is hoped that by focusing upon the impact felt by friends and family, fast progress will be made reducing gambling harms.
The Cardiff event will be accompanied by similar events to unveil the new strategy in London and Edinburgh.
Neil McArthur of the Gambling Commission said:
“We all need to better understand the harms that can be caused by gambling, moving away from simply counting problem gamblers and instead build a greater understanding of the harms experienced. Over the lifetime of the strategy we will better understand the full range of harms and how to protect against them.’’
Promoting responsible gambling tools, such as deposit limits, demanding immediate KYC checks by operators and advertising self-exclusion, is a reactive approach to those at risk.
Preventative measures through the education of children and young people, such as building resilience to gambling harms are thought to be a more practical and effective approach.
Dr Frank Atherton, chief medical officer for Wales, said:
“I have championed the introduction of a mandatory levy to support harm minimisation, prevention, evidence-based treatment options and research into gambling-related harm since taking on the role of Chief Medical Officer for Wales and wholly endorse the Gambling Commission’s commitment to pushing industry to meet their responsibilities here.”
According to the UKGC:
- 46% of people in Great Britain have gambled in the past four weeks
- 0.7% of people aged 16+ in Great Britain are classified as problem gamblers