Foreword by Neil McArthur, CEO Gambling Commission.
I am very pleased to welcome this report – a result of close collaboration involving the Gambling Commission and GambleAware, and led by our expert advisers the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board based on the input of an expert group of academics and researchers.
The Gambling Commission exists to safeguard consumers and the wider public by making gambling fairer and safer. To do this we need to balance consumer choice and enjoyment against the risks gambling can create and its impact on wider society. Working with partners to gain a better understanding of gambling-related harms is one of the priorities we set in our three-year strategy, Making gambling fairer and safer. This document is a key step towards a better understanding of gambling-related harms.
Gambling-related harms include impacts on relationships, finances and health. They are experienced by individuals, families, communities, the economy and society as whole.
This report provides a useful framework to consider how these harms can be measured and understood better. But the authors do not intend it to be definitive. It is a platform for further input and for taking the next steps on a set of priority topics where work can be focused on gathering the evidence we require.
These next steps are important to help us broaden our focus. We will move from simply identifying the numbers of people classed by screening tools as problem gamblers and consider how we will measure the real personal and societal costs which result from gambling.
And most importantly, it will help us collectively to understand where best to target our resources to tackle the full range of gambling-related harms.