GC backs new research into problem gambling

9 August 2018

The Gambling Commission has thrown its support behind a new research project that will look into whether some gambling products and environments are more harmful than others.

Working in partnership with the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB), the commission will carry out the research by seeking out information and opinions from betting industry companies across the UK, with an initial focus on online.

Operators will be asked to provide data related to products, environments and characteristics.

Commissioned by the GambleAware charity, the aim of the research will be to reuse collected data for further studies to help address problem gambling in the UK.

“Our strategy sets out our commitment to preventing harm to consumers from the risks gambling can pose,” the commission’s programme director, Ben Haden, said.

“Success of this relies on growing our evidence base to better understand the types of gambling products and services that present more of a risk of harm to consumers than others.

“Gambling firms have an important role to play in achieving this as they hold comprehensive data that is vital to this research. It goes beyond simply analysing the data which is already reported to us by operators and we will be encouraging the industry to get involved.”

Clare Wyllie, director of research commissioning at GambleAware, added: “GambleAware is pleased to be working with the Gambling Commission and the RGB on a project that will help us to better understand gambling behaviour across different products and to know what characteristics are most strongly associated with harm – focusing on the online sector in the first phase and moving onto other sectors in subsequent phases.

“For the first time, we will be able to look comprehensively across the gambling industry to understand where the risk of harm lies and by making data available to researchers, industry can gain new insights to prevent harm and to ensure customers gamble safely.”

The commission has been busy in recent months ramping up its efforts to tackle issues related to problem gambling.

Earlier this month, the commission published updated rules on advertising, pledging to take “tougher action” against gambling firms that breach regulations in the UK.

The move comes after the commission issued a call in July for the UK industry to “step up” to help the regulator improve standards across the sector.