- Kishan Patel
'Gambling Explained' - Gambling Act Review Evidence Submission
Updated: Mar 7
"Harms in affected others challenge the industry in two ways. First, measures to raise awareness and prevent gambling harms in individuals who do not gamble will reduce the appeal of gambling and contribute to its social unacceptability. Second, the 'freedom to gamble' argument is confounded if individuals who do not gamble are harmed." An extract from 'Gambling Explained' (Executive Summary).
'Gambling Explained', among many other things, demonstrates that affected others are significantly harmed and yet often omitted from discussion and consideration, let alone action.
We, the authors of this report and submission to the Gambling Act Review, have a combined lived experience of affected other harms of over 25 years. We are particularly pleased to share 'Gambling Explained' as this piece has been written and funded independently.
The attached report is a collation of salient scientific evidence and disconcerting comments made by the industry and other stakeholders across ten key topic areas, which are:
Chapter 1: Gambling and health
Chapter 2: Gambling and addiction
Chapter 3: Gambling in children and young people
Chapter 4: Gambling and advertising
Chapter 5: Gambling research, education, and treatment
Chapter 6: Design of gambling products
Chapter 7: Gambling and the way it is conducted
Chapter 8: Gambling and voluntary bans
Chapter 9: Gambling operators as multinational corporations
Chapter 10: Gambling and crime
In addition to shedding light on critical matters pertaining to the Gambling Act Review, 'Gambling Explained' hopes to validate the significance and role of emerging lived experience voices, particularly those of affected others, in driving change.
Charlotte Bradley: "When the opportunity arose for me to be involved in the authorship of this report, I was extremely humbled yet keen to further a rapidly developing evidence base surrounding gambling harms.
The overwhelming urge to be involved and seek to uncover the extent of current evidence derives from a personal lived experience of gambling harms. Harms accrued through no direct involvement nor fault of my own. A not too dissimilar set of harms to that experienced by my children, stepchildren, and in-laws, amongst others. All of us harmed, tied by one mutual connection - somebody we love suffering from a gambling disorder. Thankfully, now three years into recovery, our story is one of hope and positivity, yet the past is still a part of us and will be for as long as we live. The extent of harm to which our children have faced is yet to be uncovered.
As parents, we try our best to protect our children, the next generation, from being harmed. However, harms that result from gambling disorder are inevitable and can only be prevented by preventing gambling disorder in the first place. We hope 'Gambling Explained' will inspire many others to feel as passionately about this issue as we do. And lastly, to promote and drive positive change, especially for people who are affected by another individual’s gambling disorder."
Kishan Patel: "As someone who has experienced gambling-harm continuously from birth, this issue is an extremely pertinent one to me due to its wide-reaching impacts on my life. I have repeatedly struggled with ideas that neither my family members nor I should have existed to suffer in the way that we have. This outlook has been difficult to displace, leading to anxieties such as repeating the same journey as my Dad, who had often described his life as like 'going to hell and back'.
Despite the significance of harms on my life and loved ones, my first comprehension of gambling harm only began at the age of 22 while in my 4th year of Medical School under the directive of investigating neglected public health issues. Over the past year, besides learning that my family is not unique in our gambling harm experience, I have also come to realise the extraordinary significance of gambling harm on a population level. Additionally, it has been comforting and yet frustrating to discover public health efforts to combat gambling harm in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; meaningful change is possible in Great Britain.
Inspired by 'Tobacco Explained', 'Gambling Explained' culminates our understanding of what is known and what the industry and other stakeholders have said."
Note: We do not believe it to be appropriate to use stigmatising language in this space, especially in the pursuit of a public health approach. Hence, we have avoided the term ‘gambler’ and instead used the phrase ‘individuals who gamble’. We also have avoided the use of 'problem gambler’ and instead used the phrase ‘individuals suffering from a gambler disorder’.
Full version of Gambling Explained
Gambling Explained as a short PowerPoint Deck