Our purpose as Gambling Harm UK(GHUK) is the relief of those who are in need as a result of a gambling addiction or gambling-related harm and their families through:
a. Improving and providing education towards matters relating to gambling harm and addictions by using an evidence-based public health approach, with a focus on discussions on recovery of those suffering harm;
b. Improving the health of those suffering from gambling harm by promoting addiction recovery, the mitigation of harm, and preventing harm in the first place through the development and dissemination of insights, advice and support;
c. By engaging with and/or conducting evidence-based research that helps to further understand gambling harm and addictions’.
Last week we looked to help make a difference by attending a workshop that Sharon Collard, Research Director at the University of Bristol ‘s Personal Finance Research Centre had invited us to.
We met with her, Stuart Harrison Director of FinTech West and with a number of other FinTech organisations. These organisations had responded to the opportunity to meet members of GHUK to learn more about gambling harm, and to discuss and consider how FinTech can help reduce harm from gambling in the UK.
Financial technology (better known as fintech) is used to describe new technology that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services. At its core, fintech is utilised to help companies, business owners, and consumers better manage their financial operations, processes, and lives.
We discussed a range of topics around both opportunities for prevention and for supporting sustainable recovery of those who may have been harmed.
The interest shown by those present and their commitment to helping reduce gambling harm was refreshing. Hearing the positive conversations between the different organisations on ways they may be able to help was inspiring.
Following the event, several positive messages were sent to us from those who had attended. Two examples of these are shown below:
James Berry CEO at Great Western Credit Union
“Thank you so much for speaking to us in Bristol today. You really brought home how important it is for financial service providers to engage and to think bigger and better about how we can prevent and reduce harm and aid recovery. And for me most importantly, some immediately actionable insights which we can do something to address now in our own lending practices. Every step in the right direction, however, small, is very valuable in making change.”
Jonathan Bell Sales Director (Decisioning) – Moneyhub
“Thank you for organising such a fascinating yet poignant discussion. Matthew Barr, John Dyer and I left energised planning how we at Moneyhub can do more to support those affected by gambling harm and how financial institutions can position themselves as a first line of defence to protect those who are vulnerable.”
We will continue trying to make a difference at Gambling Harm UK by engaging with organisations and others to help increase their awareness of gambling harm so that they can support us in achieving our purpose.
Improvements don't happen overnight. But one step at a time, hopefully by engaging with organisations such as FinTech things will start to improve, and if financial institutions can position themselves as Jonathan Bell says as a first line of defence to protect those who are vulnerable, then harm may be prevented and sustainable recovery achieved.