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  • Addressing gambling harm in the workplace– a business priority or not?

    Organisations are continually faced with numerous challenges and issues and must decide where they prioritise their resources to be successful and sustainable. In these circumstances should gambling harm be a business priority or not? As Gambling Harm UK, we believe the answer to this should be yes. We hope the following may help you make the correct decision for your organisation. Is gambling harm in the workplace really a significant issue? Yes, gambling harm in the workplace is a significant issue that can have negative impacts on both employees and employers. Here are some reasons why: Prevalence: Gambling harm is a common problem, with an estimated 10% of the UK population directly or indirectly experiencing gambling harm. This means that in a workplace with 100 employees, there could be 10 employees struggling with gambling harm. Cost: Gambling harm can be costly for both employees and employers. Employees who experience gambling harm may experience financial difficulties, such as debt and bankruptcy, which can impact their work performance and lead to absenteeism or even job loss. Employers may also face costs related to reduced productivity, absenteeism, and increased health care costs. Legal risks: Employers have a legal obligation to provide a safe workplace for their employees. Failure to address gambling harm in the workplace could result in legal liability, particularly if an employee's gambling harm leads to accidents or injuries on the job. Impact on mental health: As mentioned earlier, gambling harm can have negative impacts on an individual's mental health, including depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. This can lead to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and higher healthcare costs. Social responsibility: Employers have a responsibility to promote social responsibility and contribute to the well-being of their communities. Addressing gambling harm in the workplace can help prevent negative social outcomes, such as crime and family breakdowns, that can result from gambling harm. Is improving mental health a priority for your organisation? If so, you should also care about gambling harm. Gambling harm can have a significant impact on an individual's mental health, as well as their physical health, relationships, and overall well-being. Studies have shown that those suffering gambling harm are strongly associated with depression, anxiety, and other mental health disorders. Gambling harm can also lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and hopelessness, which can exacerbate existing mental health conditions or lead to the development of new ones. Overall, addressing gambling harm in the workplace is an important part of promoting a mentally healthy workplace and supporting the overall well-being of your employees. Are there possible legal risks for an employer by not addressing gambling harm in the workplace? 1. Health and Safety at Work Act (HSWA): The HSWA places a legal duty on employers to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of their employees. Failure to address gambling harm in the workplace might be seen as a breach of this duty and if so, could result in legal action being taken against the employer. 2. Equality Act 2010: The Equality Act 2010 requires employers to take steps to prevent discrimination and harassment in the workplace. If an employer fails to address gambling harm and this leads to an employee experiencing discrimination or harassment, the employer might be held liable. 3. Employment contracts: Employment contracts may include clauses relating to gambling, such as prohibiting gambling in the workplace or during working hours. Failure to enforce these clauses might lead to legal action being taken against the employer. Is there any evidence relating to the risks of gambling harm in the workplace? Research data is still limited but the following links provide some information: 1. According to the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities Jan 2023 report, gambling was linked to a loss of concentration on work, (source: 2. According to a Gamcare publication, gambling and debt can be a distraction for people at work. These distractions can have a range of negative consequences for people while at work, especially when working somewhere like a building site where concentration is key to avoiding accidents. (source: 3. Cube HR highlight both health and safety risks but wider employer risks. (source: If I give attention to gambling harm in the workplace could my business be seen as anti-gambling? Addressing gambling harm in the workplace does not mean that your business is anti-gambling. Rather, it shows that your business is committed to promoting a safe and supportive workplace environment that prioritises the well-being of employees. Gambling is an accepted form of entertainment, and it is not necessarily problematic for everyone. However, gambling harm can have negative impacts on individuals and their families, and it is important to address this issue in the workplace to provide support and resources to those who may be affected. Overall, addressing gambling harm in the workplace is an important part of promoting a safe and supportive workplace culture, and it does not mean that your business is anti-gambling. Will it be expensive for an organisation to implement measures to address gambling harm? The cost of implementing measures to address gambling harm will vary depending on the size of the organisation, the nature of their operations, and the specific measures being implemented. However, it is important to note that the cost of not addressing gambling harm could potentially be greater in terms of reputational damage, legal liabilities, and lost productivity. Overall, while there will be some costs associated with implementing measures to address gambling harm, they do not have to be significant, and the potential benefits can outweigh these costs in the long run. Ultimately, it is up to each organisation to weigh up the potential costs and benefits and determine the most appropriate course of action for their circumstances. What are the first steps I could take as an employer to help respond to gambling harm? As an employer there are several steps you could take to help respond to gambling harm among your employees: 1. Provide education to employees: Offer educational resources to your employees, such as brochures, posters, or training sessions on gambling harm and how to recognise and address it. 2. Implement a workplace policy: Develop a workplace policy that addresses gambling harm, including guidelines for addressing employees who may be experiencing gambling-related problems and information on available resources for support and treatment. 3. Offer employee assistance programs (EAPs): Consider offering an employee assistance program that provides confidential counselling and support to employees who may be experiencing gambling harm or other personal issues. 4. Create a supportive work environment: Foster a supportive work environment that encourages employees to seek help and support when needed. This can include promoting a culture of openness and understanding, providing access to resources, and offering flexible scheduling options to accommodate treatment or support. Will our business brand be positively impacted by addressing gambling harm in the workplace? Addressing gambling harm in the workplace can have several positive impacts on your business's brand, including: 1. Increased reputation as a responsible and caring employer: By taking proactive steps to address gambling harm in the workplace, your business can demonstrate a commitment to the well-being of its employees and the wider community. 2. Enhanced corporate social responsibility (CSR): Addressing gambling harm can be seen as a part of your business's broader CSR strategy, highlighting your commitment to ethical and responsible business practices. 3. Improved employee morale and retention: By promoting a safer and healthier workplace environment, your business can increase employee satisfaction and reduce staff turnover, improving your reputation as an employer of choice. 4. Positive media coverage: Addressing gambling harm in the workplace can attract positive media attention, providing an opportunity to showcase your business's commitment to social responsibility and ethical practices. 5. Increased customer loyalty: Consumers are increasingly seeking out brands that align with their values and demonstrate a commitment to social responsibility. Addressing gambling harm can demonstrate your business's commitment to responsible behaviour, potentially enhancing customer loyalty. Finally: Gambling harm can affect anybody. It is an illness and like any illness those suffering from it need help and support. As the hidden addiction, you may not know staff within your organisation who are suffering. With an increased risk of suicide being associated with gambling harm, if your organisation can help, please do. The NHS is expanding the number of national treatment centres to respond to the demand for support. 24-hour support, 7 days per week is available via the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) or, access support via the NHS Live Well website link. There are several support charities who can also help you, Gambling Harm UK is one.

  • Upskilling student doctors on gambling harm through real-patients in SBME

    Gambling harm is a growing public health concern affecting individuals, families, and communities across the world. Given their current and future potential roles within healthcare teams, it's essential for medical students to be well-informed about, know how to identify, and be confident in providing treatment and support to patients who may be suffering from gambling harm. This is why our charity recently hosted a medical education course on gambling harm for third-year medical students, which used a simulation-based format with individuals with lived experience acting as real patients. The course was designed to provide medical students with an immersive and interactive learning experience that would help them better understand the complexities of gambling harm and the impact it has on individuals, families, and communities. By using a simulation-based format, the course aimed to create a realistic and engaging learning environment that would help medical students to develop their skills and knowledge in a practical and hands-on way. The course was designed by a team of experts on gambling harm and medical education, who provided an overview of the latest research in gambling harm. This was followed by a series of interactive simulations, in which individuals with lived experience acted as real patients and shared their personal stories and experiences with the medical students. The medical students were first tasked with empathetically and sensitively gathering a history from a patient presenting with a symptom that may seemingly be unrelated to gambling harm. This was then followed by a more thorough assessment of other gambling harms as well as an evaluation of the risks to the patient and others. Lastly, the student doctors worked together to provide support and resources to the patients. Through these simulations, the medical students were able to see first-hand the impact that gambling harm can have on an individual's life and the importance of asking direct questions to promote early identification. Our lived experience delivery was particularly impactful for the medical students, as it provided an authentic perspective on the challenges and complexities of gambling harm. Individuals with lived experience shared their stories and provided insight into what it's like to live with gambling harm either from their own gambling or from another person's gambling, and the impact that it has had on their lives. This helped the medical students to understand the importance of empathy and compassion when working with patients who may be struggling with gambling harm and its stigmas. The simulation-based format of the medical education course was a great success, with the medical students expressing that they found the experience to be incredibly valuable and impactful. They reported increased confidence to identify and treat patients who may be suffering from gambling harm and appreciated the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills into practice in a safe and controlled environment. In conclusion, our charity's medical education course on gambling harm was an important step in preparing medical students to tackle this growing public health concern. By using a simulation-based format with individuals with lived experience, the course provided a hands-on and immersive learning experience that helped the medical students to develop their skills, knowledge and attitudes in a practical and impactful way. We believe that this type of education is crucial for healthcare professionals, and we will continue to advocate for its importance in undergraduate education. What did you like most about the sessions today? "Having real family members affected by gambling made the session much more helpful as I could understand exactly what to do and not to do in a consultation" "Before the session, I was not aware of the [gravity] of the effect gambling has and the severity that it has on QOL. + How many people it affects + How it is not just gambling. But also the emotional/behavioural changes" "The structure of both sessions and how it was split into smaller groups which allowed us not only to learn more effectively but also improve our communication skills on sensitive topics." What did you dislike most about the sessions today? "N/A (10/10 session) I would recommend to other med schools" "There was nothing I would change" "I wouldn't mind if the session was longer." Figure 1. Column chart showing student perceptions on helpfulness of sessions towards gambling harm competencies where 1 = not at all helpful and 5 = very helpful. The mean is plotted with 95% confidence intervals. Figure 2. Column chart showing student perceptions on helpfulness of the lived experience delivery of the sessions where 1 = not at all helpful and 5 = very helpful. The mean is plotted with 95% confidence intervals. Figure 3. A donut chart showing proportions of student preferences for quantity of gambling harm education at the undergraduate level. Abstract report Footnote: "Three years ago, I was a 4th Year Medical Student at Imperial College London realising that: I had experienced gambling harm all my life Gambling harm is one of the most significant modifiable risk factors for health That the issue is extraordinarily neglected relative to other similar issues It bothered me that I had never encountered gambling harm teaching in my medical education and that this would be the norm across undergraduate teaching domestically and internationally. (Now that I'm practising medicine as an FY1 doctor, I come across gambling harm regularly but often only because I have asked.) Therefore, in October 2019, I started my efforts to change this. Since then, we’ve created resources with medical education providers with a vast reach, namely, Geeky Medics and Osmosis – Medical Education. We’ve now gone a step further in making a decisive impact in gambling harm medical education through a successful course designed and delivered by individuals with lived experience course to medical students directly. We're extremely pleased with the feedback that we have received and the impact that this course will have on the students, their loved ones, and patients. We look forward to and strive to see gambling harm being considered and tackled alongside alcohol misuse, tobacco use, and drug misuse in medical education and healthcare practice." Dr Kishan Patel Chair of the Board of Trustees at Gambling Harm UK

  • Lobbying and the BGC

    Introduction The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) was formed in 2019 as a merger of three different ‘industry associations’; the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) and the National Casino Forum (NCF).[i] These associations represented various sectors of the UK’s gambling industry whose interests had not always been aligned.[ii] With the formation of the BGC, however, the industry has created a unified body to advocate on its behalf.[iii] This advocacy, however, is not the aspect of the organisation that it stresses to the press or the public. Instead, the BGC, since its creation, has styled itself as a ‘standards body’ first and foremost, as CEO Michael Dugher is quoted in bold on their website ‘Our number one priority remains to raise standards and drive big changes’.[1] And whilst the BGC has championed several initiatives to promote safer gambling, their effectiveness has been questioned; the Guardian’s Rob Davies refers to much of the work as ‘cosmetic rather than profound’.[1] The BGC’s role as representatives and advocates of the industry is not immediately apparent and is always couched in the language of promoting industry standards; below Dughers’ quote (and in a much smaller font), the BGC’s stated mission is: “To champion the betting and gaming industry and set world class standards to ensure an enjoyable, fair and safe betting and gaming experience for all our customers.”[1] And its purpose: “To provide a forum to facilitate collaboration, sharing of best practice, drive and champion standards, and create a single voice for the industry.”[1] Despite this downplaying of its role as an industry-founded and industry-funded organisation, the BGC, like its forebears, is first and foremost a lobbying group for the gambling industry. Below we examine how and why the BGC was formed, the influence and connections it exerts, to what extent its claims of industry self-regulation can be taken seriously and finally, we will look at some of its strategies and tactics. FOBTs, the industry’s lost battle and the formation of the BGC Before their maximum bet was reduced by law from £100 to £2 in 2019, ‘fixed-odds betting terminals’ (FOBTs) were out of control. They represented over £1 billion lost a year by people who gambled, a disproportionate proportion of their players were ‘problem gamblers’ (13.6%, rising to over a quarter when including those at ‘moderate risk’), and they were primarily responsible for overcrowding high streets with betting shops.[2] By 2017, these problems, combined with the heart-rending stories of victims, coalesced into a media storm, with FOBTs dubbed the ‘crack cocaine of gambling.’[3]Unsurprisingly, the same year, the government launched a ‘consultation on a range of options on cutting maximum stakes.’[4] With each machine bringing in more than £50,000 a year and generating a total of £1.2 billion in income, the industry launched a defensive action. [3] This action would be spearheaded by the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) and its CEO Malcolm George. Much of their effort was unsophisticated, with Malcolm George often railing against a ‘media panic’ induced by ‘those with their own commercial interests at heart’.[5] George was not entirely incorrect; the industry was divided on FOBTs, with some organisations backing reform and the ABB’s counterpart, the Remote Gambling Association, ‘content to stay out of the matter’. [3] Such heavy-handed attacks, however, did the ABB no favours. As with much lobbying, however, the primary battle was not in the press but in parliament. Here the ABB acted with much more sophistication and in a manner still emulated by its successor, the BGC: Firstly, the ABB commissioned KPMG (an accounting firm) to write a report on the impact of cutting FOBT’s maximum stake to £2; the report found that this would cost the industry a staggering £639 million and cause 15-21,000 job losses. It was, however, deeply misleading as the ABB had dictated the parameters of KPMG’s report in such a way to ensure a beneficial outcome. As KPMG notes, the report was ‘performed to meet specific terms of reference’, with certain estimates’ agreed with the industry’ and ‘should not be regarded as suitable to be used or relied on by any other person or for any other purpose’.[6] Despite this, the report was circulated among MPs and Civil Servants; it was used in ‘Treasury modelling’ and even cited by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond.[3] Secondly, it would seem that the industry’s allies in parliament attempted to delay or axe the incoming £2 stake limit proposed by then Sports Minister Tracy Crouch. As Crouch would report, Philip Davies lobbied the Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright against the policy; after that, the Treasury and chancellor Philip Hammond (who cited the erroneous report) took over. Crouch then resigned in protest, triggering outroar and a rebellion which forced the Treasury to backtrack. Crouch has stated that without her resignation, she does not believe the policy would have gone ahead, given the Treasury’s and Hammonds’s ‘scepticism’, no doubt influenced by the misleading KGMP report and lobbying by pro-industry MPs.[3] With these late dramatics, the ABB had been defeated, and the industry’s reputation damaged. It was clear to gambling firms that if they wanted to weather public outrage and growing calls for reform, they would need a modern and sophisticated organisation to “champion” their interests. Thus, in 2018 the Betting and Gaming Council was formed. The BGC: buying influence At its formation, the BGC was already a formidable beast. It appointed a veteran lobbyist Brigid Simmonds as chairman. More importantly, it hired Michael Dugher, a former Shadow Secretary and Labour MP as chief executive and Kevin Schofield, a veteran journalist and former editor of PoliticsHome, to run the organisation’s communication strategy.[3] All the contacts and experience in this core team have undoubtedly been useful to the BGC in various ways, some of which we trace below. With the appointment of Kevin Schofield, the BGC had hired an experienced journalist and a man fully capable of running the organisation’s communications strategy. Perhaps it was this canny understanding of communications that caused PoliticsHome (a news source read by MPs and political advisors) to go from publishing articles broadly sympathetic to gambling reform to publishing no less than eleven articles written by the BGC or its staff in the eighteen months since they hired Schofield.[3] Or perhaps Schofield retains friends and influence at PoliticsHome, for which he was an editor for five years. Similarly, since his appointment, niche BGC reports have received favourable coverage by Schofield’s former colleagues in both the Sun and the Sun on Sunday.[3] Somewhat more challenging to map is the influence of former shadow minister Michael Dugher. Dugher is a man with numerous contacts from his time at the forefront of political activity; he has undoubtedly helped the BGC meet with and influence officials, ministers and MPs. The nature of such lobbying means that we can only speculate on the extent of his work. What we can note, however, is the apparent influence and reach of the BGC, whose staff met with DCMS officials seven times between October and December of 2020 (the period immediately before the Government’s Gambling Act Review was announced).[3] Perhaps the most well-publicised (alleged) exertion of Dugher’s influence was the hiring of former Labour Deputy Leader Tom Watson by Flutter Entertainment. Of course, Flutter is not the BGC, and there is no evidence that Dugher directly or indirectly influenced that decision. What is known is that Dugher and Watson are close friends, and despite Watson’s former vocally anti-gambling stance, he took a job for the industry, lending it both his expertise and reputation. Further, Watson has taken to using a favourite phrase of Dughers (and not many others) to describe activists in favour of gambling reform, that is, to call them ‘prohibitionists’ (despite the rarity of calls for an outright ban).[3] It is not just former MP’s the BGC has ties with (nor is the Dugher-Watson connection the height of the industry’s incestuous dealings). In November 2020, the BGC began paying current Conservative MP Laurence Robertson £2,000 monthly for 10 hours work advising ‘on sports and safer gambling’ (an hourly rate of £200).[3] Similarly, Philip Davies (the MP who lobbied to delay FOTB reform) got paid £50,000 for 124 hours of work advising Entain chief executive Kenny Alexander.[3] Alongside this, Davies has several former staff employed in the industry. Two of Entains senior officials previously worked in his office (head of safer gambling and external affairs Sophie Dean and chief of corporate affairs Grainne Hurst); the BGC also employs his former aide Camilla Toogood as its ‘government relations manager’.[3] Whilst there is nothing technically wrong with hiring a host of Davies acolytes, it shows how the BGC and, indeed, the industry maintains a deep connection with those politicians it deems friendly to their cause. The BGC: self-regulation? Unlike the old Association of British Bookmakers or the Remote Gambling Association, the BGC’s purpose as a pro-industry lobbying group is not immediately apparent to the casual observer. In a rather successful PR stunt, the industry dropped the standard ‘association’ moniker in its creation of the BGC and has focused on messaging concerning the groups role as a ‘standards body’. The BGC stresses this role at every opportunity and indeed, the organisation has championed several voluntary initiatives aimed at the protection of consumers. This has led many commentators to attribute a genuine concern for those affected by gambling harm. However, such exercises by the industry are best viewed as thinly veiled publicity stunts, primarily tokenistic and driven by the desire for self-preservation, which attempts to mask the actions of an industry desperately trying to fend off outside regulation. Take, for example, two instances of BGC “championed” reform. Firstly, the much-publicised whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertisements during live sporting broadcasts. The ban, agreed on in 2018, was labelled a ‘huge success’ in the BGC’s annual review and has been held up as something of a crowning achievement for the organisation and as proof that effective self-regulation is possible.[7] Indeed, the BGC claimed that the initiative had reduced the number of gambling ads seen by 4-17-year-olds by a staggering 97%.[8] The reality is substantially different; over the first year of the ban, gambling ads across all TV channels fell by about 11.3%.[9] Whilst this might seem substantial, two factors undermine the BGCs narrative. Firstly, despite a ban on tv advertisements during broadcasts, the broadcasts themselves contained numerous gambling logos and advertisements; 9 of 20 premier league clubs and 17 of 24 championship clubs had shirt sponsorships, to say nothing of the numerous advertisements on pitch-side boards.[10] Secondly, the ban only served to accelerate the move to online advertising, which the industry was already in the process of making. Indeed, the 97% reduction in gambling ads seen by children boasted by the BGC is achieved through not only excluding all media except broadcast tv but also by examining only the number of tv ads seen over the span of televised football matches, not the overall number of televisions ads seen at other times.[3] In short, the ban is unlikely to have reduced gambling harm due to the omnipresent nature of gambling ads both online and through sponsorships during broadcast; similarly, it was almost certainly harmless to the industry, which already had a large amount of exposure through those sponsorships and online marketing. The main purpose for the ban seems to have been the positive news coverage it generated for the industry. Secondly, and of more minor importance, is the BGCs supposed support for gambling reforms. Notably, when the Gambling Commission introduced a ban on gambling on credit - a ban on gambling on debt (and thus likely creating more debt) - Dugher claimed the BGC had always ‘fully and publicly’ supported the ban.[3] Despite this, the Commission's own report indicated that ‘none of the remote gambling operators who responded supported the ban’.[3] The BGCs backers had opposed the reform, and the BGC had only thrown its weight in once it was already decided; rather than championing reform, the organisation appears to have attempted to gain credit for a reform its backers opposed. What these examples illustrate and what must be kept in mind is that the BGC is, first and foremost, a pro-industry body; its responsibility is not to those affected by gambling harms but to the various gambling companies that make up its membership. As such, the regulatory initiatives it has championed have been aggrandised and have only been incidentally helpful in reducing gambling harm (if they have at all). The BGC commits to such initiatives with the dual aims of improving the industry’s public image and of fending off government intervention – the alternative is that profit-driven private enterprises are funding an organisation whose goal is to reduce their profits through self-regulation. The BGC: bogus fear of a black market One of the BGC’s primary methods of pushing back against the prospect of greater regulation is to raise concerns over growth in the gambling ‘black market’ (unlicensed gambling operations). The argument being that much like the American prohibition, a draconian crackdown on the industry could lead to an explosion of an unregulated (and more dangerous) form of gambling. Whilst the prospect of growth in the black market should perhaps not be dismissed outright, the industry’s predictions are certainly exaggerated and cynically leveraged; as Paddy Power co-founder Stewart Kenny has noted, industry heads always ‘used the threat of the black market’ and ‘always knew it was a bit of a bogus argument’.[3] Despite Mr Kenny’s admission and others like it, the BGC has focused much of its efforts on framing its opposition to regulation as civic-minded warnings. Whilst the ABB of old might have railed against the prospect of regulation (and the APPG on Betting and Gaming certainly has), the BGC’s well-oiled PR machine has taken a conciliatory tone, offering notional support to ‘the Gambling Review’ whilst raising the spectre of the black market if regulation is taken too far, warning that it may lead to ‘regulated industry being smaller and the illegal black market growing substantially’.[11] Dugher and the BGC then call for the government not to limit regulation or roll back its gambling review but rather to ‘take an evidence-based approach’.[11] Whilst this may seem an uncontroversial and eminently reasonable approach, one must recall the KGMP report on FOBTs that was declared unfit for outside use by its authors yet still found its way into Treasury modelling, onto the desks of civil servants, MPs and even the Chancellor’s. The industry can and has created ‘evidence’ which suits their financial interests; the BGC’s network of influence means that often this evidence makes its way to decision-makers even when it is woefully inaccurate and unusable. It is unsurprising then that in 2019 the industry commissioned PwC to write a report on the size of the UK black market.[3] The report estimated that 200,000 Britons wagered 1.4 billion on black market operators every year; this eye-catching figure was dutifully spread around the press (with Schofield’s old colleagues in the Murdoch Press doing much of the heavy lifting).[3] The report was deeply flawed and had failed to distinguish between real website visits and ones generated by bots; it drew widespread criticism and a surprisingly strong statement from the usually reticent Gambling Commission, with executive Niel McArthur calling the report ‘exaggerated’ and ‘not consistent with the intelligence picture’.[3] Furthermore, it should be noted whilst the report was completed in August of 2019, the BGC, a self-described ‘standards body’, did not choose to publish it until 2020, just as the Gambling Review was initiated. Not deterred by this criticism, the BGC quickly published a follow-up alleging that wagers on black market sites had doubled during the pandemic and now equalled around 2% of those placed on legitimate sites.[3] As Davies notes with some scepticism, during the same period, wagers on legitimate sites increased by a comparatively modest 13%; the PwC report would suggest that during lockdown, people were drawn not towards the licenced operators whose adverts they saw daily but towards much riskier black market sites.[3] To refer back again to Paddy power co-founder Stewart Kenny this seems incredibly unlikely as most people are ‘not going to lend [their] credit card details to black market operators’.[3] [i] An industry association is founded and funded by businesses operating in the sector. Its purpose is to promote the interests of the businesses it represents. [ii] Most notably on the issue of FOBTs [iii] Since the absorption of the Senet Group in 2020, the BGC now represents approximately 90% of the UK's licensed operators. [1] Betting & Gaming Council. Our Purpose [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 6]. Available from: [2] Channel 4. Gambling act was a ‘mistake’ confesses senior Labour politician [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 6]. Available from: [3] Davies R. Jackpot: How Gambling Conquered Britain. London: Guardian Faber; 2022. [4] GOV.UK. Government to take action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 6]. Available from: [5] Financial Times. Why criticism of FOBTs needs to be played down [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 6]. Available from: [6] Davies R. Government’s FOBT decision influenced by ‘discredited’ report. The Guardian [Internet]. 2018 Nov 12 [cited 2023 Jan 6]; Available from: [7] Betting & Gaming Council. ‘Whistle to whistle’ ban a huge success [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 6]. Available from: [8] Betting & Gaming Council. ‘Whistle to whistle’ ban success [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 6]. Available from: [9] Patel K. Gambling and voluntary bans [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Jan 6]. Available from: [10] Association P. Number of clubs sponsored by betting firms is ‘disturbing’, say campaigners. The Guardian [Internet]. 2018 Jul 30 [cited 2023 Jan 6]; Available from: [11] Betting & Gaming Council. New research reveals shocking size of Black Market gambling across… [Internet]. [cited 2023 Jan 6]. Available from:

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  • Gambling Harm UK | Awareness & Prevention

    We are a leading impact-focused UK charity dedicated to the prevention and reduction of gambling harm. According to the World Health Organization, "The gambling-related burden of harm appears to be of similar magnitude to harm attributed to major depressive disorder and alcohol misuse and dependence. It is substantially higher than harm attributed to drug dependence disorder" Here at Gambling Harm UK, we know that sometimes all it takes to change the world is a little support. Since our founding in 2020, we have been determined to make as much impact as possible. The core of our efforts is to bring out the ideas and passion of people with lived experience to a range of activities that reduce and prevent gambling harm. Through all of our endeavours, we ensure that we display the conviction that matches the need. Learn More Our Values We are authentic We know first-hand that gambling harm can be prevented and that can be life-changing and potentially life-saving for individuals and their loved ones. ​ We are impact-driven We believe in our determined resolve to tackle the injustices surrounding gambling harm, hence we specialise in addressing disproportionately affected and neglected issues. ​ We are lived experience We believe that individuals with lived experience of gambling harm are the experts and that they should be provided with meaningful opportunities to have a positive impact. ​ We are inclusive We believe in making sure our team represents the diverse needs of the populations we aim to serve. ​ We are collaborators We believe in sharing what we know so that our work can be maximally impactful and reach people affected by gambling harm everywhere. Our Values Our Impact 50,000+ 🎥 'Do It For Her' has reached over 50, 000 views since it's release. The film demonstrates risk factors towards gambling harm, industry tactics, manifestations and progression of gambling harm across six domains, and the potential of harm recovery. ​ 1.3M+ ⚕️ Gambling Harm UK has worked with some of the largest Medical Education Platforms including Geeky Medics, Osmosis, and Imperial College London, raising awareness of gambling harm to platforms with over 1 million health care professional clicks. ​ 50+ 📰 Gambling Harm UK have actively raised awareness of gambling harm with over 50 different media publications spanning from BBC Breakfast, The Sunday Times, WIRED Magazine, BBC Hooked, and many more... ​ ​ 20+ 🔬 Gambling Harm UK have publically published over twenty hard-hitting research reports on gambling-harm. In the past year, our work has focussed on synthesising gambling harm issues, with focus towards understanding the significance of gambling harm. 7000+ 🧒 Gambling Harm UK are proud to have raised awareness on gambling and gaming harm to over 7000 young people through our face to face workshops. We are committed to continuing our innovative evidence-based work and making a positive impact in the lives of future generations. Do It For Her A short film written by: Mohammedally Shushtari, directed by: Shehroze Khan and starring: Fady Elsayed. ​ In 2021, Gambling Harm UK began working with Fully Focussed and Million Youth Media on a short film to help raise awareness and understanding of the disproportionate gambling harm experienced by young people from minority backgrounds. Read More Watch now Do It For Her Featured Posts Addressing gambling harm in the workplace– a business priority or not? Organisations are continually faced with numerous challenges and issues and must decide where they prioritise their resources to be... Upskilling student doctors on gambling harm through real-patients in SBME Gambling harm is a growing public health concern affecting individuals, families, and communities across the world. Given their current... The invisible addiction - Gambling Disorder Would you know if a family member, friend, or employee was suffering from gambling disorder? How do you recognise it? Unlike alcohol or... Gambling-harm in Young People (Infographics) Prevalence of gambling in Young People (11-16 year olds) Prevalence of gambling harm in Young People (11-16 year olds) Miscellaneous Gambling harm and stigma What is Stigma? Stigma is a social phenomenon where certain characteristics, qualities or features of an identifiable group are regarded... 'Gambling Explained' - Gambling Act Review Evidence Submission "Harms in affected others challenge the industry in two ways. First, measures to raise awareness and prevent gambling harms in... The Times: Denise Coates Foundation It seems that every year we have the same conversations regarding Denise Coates' extortionate salary. However, on this particular... 1/2 Lived Experiences of Gambling Harm Play Video Play Video 02:01 The CAGE of Addiction One way of understanding addiction is through CAGE as both an acronym for signs of addiction (Cut down, Annoyed, Guilty, and Eye-Opener) and a metaphor for how addiction traps the individual and often their loved ones into addiction cycles. An individual with an addiction may: want to Cut down, feel Annoyed when other criticise them about the addictive behaviour, feel bad or Guilty about the addictive behaviour, engage in the addictive behaviour first thing in the morning to steady their nerves or to feel 'normal' (Eye-opener) Play Video Play Video 00:56 Gambling Harm - Who Can It Affect? 1 in 10 adults in the past year have been significantly affected by gambling harm. Research has consistently demonstrated that individuals that are: young, male, and that belong to ethnic minority backgrounds, are disproportionately susceptible to gambling disorder. Gambling disorder (the most severe level of gambling harm from an individual's own gambling) is between 3 to 5 times more prevalent amongst ethnic minority groups relative to white ethnic groups. Moreover, gambling harm is likely to have a worse impact on those from a minority ethnic background, and this is in part due to differences in cultural attitudes, stigma, and health awareness. Gambling disorder is also most prevalent amongst 16-24 year olds than in any other age group. In the last gold-standard prevalence survey conducted in 2010, the prevalence of gambling disorder according to PGSI among 16-24 year olds was at 2.0% (males: 2.7%, females 1.2%), whereas the prevalence by PGSI of the whole population was measured at 1.0% (males: 1.7%, females 0.3%). Play Video Play Video 01:11 Gambling Harm - Motivations to Gamble According to the BGPS 2010, motivations for gambling can be grouped into categories of: Social - this includes gambling either to be sociable or because it’s something that one does with friends and family Money - this includes gambling to make money or gambling for the chance of winning big money Enhancement - this includes gambling for the challenge, to compete against others, for a sense of achievement and for the excitement. Recreation - this includes motives related to filling time, hobbies and past times, fun and relaxation. Coping - this includes gambling to relieve tension or impress others. Play Video Play Video 01:05 Gambling Harm - Escalation of Harms Gambling harm can be particularly devastating as it can have a profound impact across several domains including health, work or study, and relationships. Moreover, these impacts can be lifelong or even intergenerational. It's important to remember that anyone can be affected by gambling harm. An individual does not need to have a gambling disorder to suffer gambling harm. In fact, 1 in 10 adults in the past year are expected to suffer gambling harm. According to the World Health Organisation: "The gambling-related burden of harm appears to be of similar magnitude to harm attributed to major depressive disorder and alcohol misuse and dependence. It is substantially higher than harm attributed to drug dependence disorder" Play Video Play Video 01:14 Gambling Harm - Finding Recovery If you are suffering from gambling harm, support and treatment is available. "Understanding the role gambling plays in your life can be the first step in making changes to reduce the harm it causes. It is unlikely that there will be a single answer, and you may need a combination of strategies to make lasting changes. You are more likely to be successful if you have support from others. For free information, advice and support you can contact gamcare advisors on 0808 80 20 133 or visit to find out about treatment and support available in your area." Additionally, the NHS Live Well website contains advice as well as signposting to other free treatment and support options. Lastly, feel free to check out 'The All Bets Are Off Podcast', which has over 50 hours of gambling addiction recovery content covering a wide range of discussion points, including everything from recovery stories and signposting. Voice of Lived Experience Frequently Asked Questions Frequently Asked Questions

  • About | Gambling Harm UK

    About us Gambling Harm UK is a UK charity that has been built independently and by individuals with lived experience. Our purpose is to utilise lived experience of gambling-harm to help guide gambling-harm prevention strategies. We were previously established as a C.I.C in 2020 following the success of the All Bets Are Off Podcast. Since then, the team has grown and so has efforts and our commitment to transparently spearhead impact across research, education, and treatment. ​ Our Purpose ‘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’. Our Focus Lived Experience ​ Gambling Harm UK believes that lived experience should be at the forefront of understanding and appreciating gambling-harm. We ensure that our focus on preventing gambling-harm is in all of the work that we do. ​ Research Gambling Harm UK conducts innovative, independent, and impactful research that then informs legislative, regulatory, and health care policy. Our research takes all shapes and sizes and is laser focussed on impact and relevance. Discussion ​ Gambling Harm UK is part of a growing community dedicated to bringing change. We pride ourselves on our collaborative values, sharing resources and expertise openly, to maximise impact. ​ Education Gambling Harm UK brings together the voices of lived experience with evidence-based research to provide unique insights for medical, education professionals, young people, the general public, and also decision-makers.

  • News | Gambling Harm UK

    News Gambling Harm UK is dedicated to changing and shaping lives. The work we do is aimed at providing a holistic and public health approach to gambling-harm. We make sure our partners are empowered by creating opportunities for individuals and communities. ​ We are achieving more with our initiatives than ever before. We work on many exciting projects to help improve the lives of others, and are very proud of the progress we continue to make. See below to learn more about what we do, who we help, and how we work every day to promote positive change. Addressing gambling harm in the workplace– a business priority or not? Organisations are continually faced with numerous challenges and issues and must decide where they prioritise their resources to be... Upskilling student doctors on gambling harm through real-patients in SBME Gambling harm is a growing public health concern affecting individuals, families, and communities across the world. Given their current... The invisible addiction - Gambling Disorder Would you know if a family member, friend, or employee was suffering from gambling disorder? How do you recognise it? Unlike alcohol or... Fairfield Church. Pupils at Fairfield Church were the beneficiaries of the 'Preventing Gambling Harm in Diverse Communities' initiative on Wednesday 20th... Park Academy West London. On the Monday 21st March 2022, I was humbled to deliver the 'Preventing Gambling Harm in Diverse Communities' initiative to Park Academy... Bishop Ramsey Church of England School. Our long-awaited delivery to Bishop Ramsey Church of England School was successfully completed on Friday 4th March 2022. Dani Williams... Aldenham School. On Monday 21st February 2022, Joshua Palmer and Ben Jones from Red Card were welcomed by Aldenham School in Borehamwood. We were invited... Our second gambling-harm prevention workshop at Newham Sixth Form College. #thankyou #pshe #gamblingharm #gamblingaddiction #gambling #workshops #london #newham #problemgambling #student Gambling-harm prevention workshop: Newham Sixth Form College. Newham Sixth Form College houses three of our specialist workshops this week and hopefully many more in the future. You can sense the... Gambling and Alcohol I was invited by Alcohol Change UK to share my lived experience of gambling harm and alcohol dependence. In addition to gambling and... Do It For Her: a first-of-its-kind short drama Gambling Harm UK: We're pleased to share ‘Do It For Her’ a first-of-its-kind short drama reflecting on gambling harms in diverse... Gambling-harm prevention workshop: Woodbridge High School Woodbridge High School, what can I say? A truly amazing experience from start to finish. From the first point of call to the end of the... Gambling-harm prevention workshop at Royal Docks Academy: coeducational secondary school We took another step today on our mission to eradicate Gambling Harm and reach as many young people as possible and I would like to send... Gambling-harm in Adults (Infographics) Prevalence of gambling harm in Adults Significance of gambling harm in Adults (Quality of Life Impacts and Mortality related to gambling... Gambling-harm in Young People (Infographics) Prevalence of gambling in Young People (11-16 year olds) Prevalence of gambling harm in Young People (11-16 year olds) Miscellaneous What A Ball Ache Podcast Gary and Ant are two great guys who like me love football. They love it so much they decided to talk about it a lot and started their... Affected Other Harms in 11-16 year old School Students Young People and Gambling 2020 The findings are taken from the data tables of the annual Young People and Gambling Survey, conducted in... NICE Guidance: Gambling: Identification, diagnosis and management One of our priorities at Gambling Harm UK is to see gambling harm appropriately considered and prioritised within the health context.... BBC News: Online gambling: 'I stole £70,000 to feed my addiction' Danielle's met other gamblers in recovery through a network called TalkGEN, which wants to improve education and understanding of gambling Hidden Voices Podcast We have been building a fruitful relationship with Healthwatch Essex for a while now, so it was great being asked to take part in an... British Indian Psychiatry Association (BIPA): The Silent Public Health Crisis Join us for our event about gambling-harm on 16/9/21 at 6pm on Zoom with Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE and Kishan Patel. Pitch Imperfect I was asked to contribute to an article in The Big Issue North written by Mark Lomas about gambling's relationship with football. The... Charity football match raises £2370 for good causes On Saturday 17th July the gambling harms / recovery community, family and friends, all came together at the home of Billericay Town... The National Education Group: Parents & Carers The National Education Group are a multi-award winning provider of remote, expert-led CPD, with a mission to empower schools in the UK... Scottish Gambling Education Network Event: Lived Experience of Affected Others Gambling harm and stigma What is Stigma? Stigma is a social phenomenon where certain characteristics, qualities or features of an identifiable group are regarded... BBC Radio 4's Money Box programme I was privileged to take part in BBC Radio 4's Money Box. The show included discussion with Matt Gaskell, Clinical Lead at The NHS... 'Gambling Explained' - Gambling Act Review Evidence Submission "Harms in affected others challenge the industry in two ways. First, measures to raise awareness and prevent gambling harms in... The Times: Denise Coates Foundation It seems that every year we have the same conversations regarding Denise Coates' extortionate salary. However, on this particular... Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling: Voice of Awareness Earlier today I was delighted to be involved in the 'Voice of Awareness' discussion hosted by Tana Russell and Julie Hynes of the... Aik Saath Workshop As news broke yesterday of our new education programme in collaboration with YGAM, Red Card Gambling Support Project CIC and Clearview... Preventing Gambling Harms in Diverse Communities A pioneering new education programme has been launched in Greater London and the Home Counties to raise awareness and address the issue... 1000 Days Sober Podcast - Getting Over A Gambling Addiction Having lived experience of both gambling-harm and alcoholism I occasionally get invited to talk about either or both. So when Lee Davy,... Paul Merson endorses the podcast An endorsement from Arsenal legend and former England international footballer 'The Magic Man' himself. Paul Merson gives his verdict on... The Peoples FC Sponsorship for 2021-2022 season Recently the All Bets Are Off podcast invited grassroots football clubs from across the UK to apply for sponsorship for 2021-2022 season.... The Times Educational Supplement: Raising Awareness amongst Students When TES (the Times Educational Supplement) approached me about an article about how to educate students about the dangers of gambling, I... The Young Consultant: Strategic Advisory Project Gambling Harm UK are proud to work with The Young Consultant to help understand how best to drive our organisation forward in reaching... The Voice of Islam Radio Today I appeared on the Voice of Islam Drive Time show. It’s great to see the station dedicating time to gambling-harm and I was chuffed... Pioneering gambling-harm in Medical Education Osmosis empowers over one million learners around the world with a better understanding of medicine and health topics. Although... Premier League footballers should no longer be billboards for gambling firms | @mattzarb Premier League footballers should no longer be billboards for gambling firms | @mattzarb BBC Radio Manchester On the evening of Wednesday 23rd December, I was invited onto the Talking Balls programme on BBC Radio Manchester hosted by Kyle Walker... ALL IN: The Addicted Gambler's Podcast: Episode 176 It's not often I get invited onto podcasts to discuss my story in great length, and so I jumped at the chance when ALL IN host and good... The 'TalkBanStop' initiative On Thursday 17th December, the ‘TalkBanStop’ initiative went live. This is a partnership between GamCare, Gamban, and GAMSTOP to help... GambleAware: Disproportionate gambling-harm in ethnic minority communities New research commissioned by GambleAware and delivered by YouGov has found that ethnic minority communities are disproportionately... Match Sponsors for Billericay Town U23’s The All Bets Are Off podcast was proud to match sponsors for Billericay Town U23’s Essex Senior League Reserve Division fixture against... Cost of Gambling by Lucy Holmes Yesterday my story was posted on Lucy Holmes’ website ‘Cost of Gambling.’ Lucy is a trainee journalist, and in February 2021, Cost of... WIRED: "The pandemic has triggered a British online gambling crisis" Link to WIRED article It was late January when Google searches for “casinos” reached an all-time high in the UK. And that was before the... Welcome to the Jungle: How remote work has impacted addiction Recently I spoke with journalist Joanna York of Welcome to the Jungle – a multi-channel media company that aims to inspire individuals to... BBC Radio 5 Live: Gambling-related harm I got a call asking me to appear on BBC 5 Live to talk about gambling-related harm during. The Sunday night time slot didn't put me off. It' BBC Essex Radio This evening I was back on BBC Essex having a chat with Rob Jelly (host of BBC Upload). A show that has supported the All Bets Are Off... 1/2

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