ADPH Proposals for LAs to Help Reduce Gambling Related Harm

One of the organizations responsible for public welfare in the United Kingdom (UK), the Association of Directors of Public Health (ADPH), has issued a statement that lists several proposals that can be implemented to reduce the level of gambling-related harm in the community.

ADPH list of proposals for LAs to reduce gambling related harm

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The ADPH feels that Local Authorities (LAs) can introduce these measures because it is frustrated by the pace of the proposed changes to the current Gambling Act. The UK government has outlined a series of reforms and changes to the Gambling Act in the region, this has been put forward in the form of a White Paper.

The changes in the White Paper have been out for consultation with stakeholders in the gaming industry, however, this process has taken over a year and the ADPH has outlined immediate changes LAs can introduce to create a safer gambling environment. Generally the White Paper has received support from the gaming industry.

The ADPH does acknowledge that problem gaming only affects a small minority of people who gamble, but it is a public health issue and all industry stakeholders should aim to reduce gambling-related harm where possible.

What’s needed to reduce the number of people experiencing harm is a robust national strategy. In the meantime, though, LAs have various levers at their disposal to tackle gambling harm and many that are already using them, are seeing positive results.

Alice WisemanVice President of ADPH

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List of Proposed LA Gambling Related Interventions

Members of the ADPH, along with other public health bodies have come up with a list of changes that local legislature can introduce to reduce gambling-related harm. These measures include LAs restricting the number of retail gaming outlets in their region, and ensuring they have an adequate number of personnel to enforce current and future legislation.

The list proposes an end to advertising and marketing links between gambling companies and LAs, this would include a ban on advertising on local buses and publicly owned advertisement boards. Additionally, there is a call to ban sponsorship of local clubs and teams that rely on LAs to supply the ground or facilities.

Other suggestions include ensuring gambling help and support organizations are independent and are not funded by gaming operators. As well as running advertising campaigns at a local level that raise awareness of the potential of gambling-related harm.

It has been nearly 20 years since the Gambling Act (2005) established the Gambling Commission to self-regulate the industry. However, instead of effective regulation, the industry sponsor education programmes, lobby parliament, give political donations and spend millions on marketing and advertising to ensure that their products are seen by as many people, as often, as possible.

Alice WisemanVice President of ADPH

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