The partnership will explore the impact of different gambling products on well-being, mental health and suicide, and what the public health approach to reducing harm caused by these products could look like. To inform future responses to the public health harms of gambling, it will test the efficacy of different public health messaging.
This project comes at a time when the 2005 Gambling Act is being reviewed, yet there is no mention of the public health approach to gambling in the consultation. The output of the project aims to add to the evidence that changes to the law are needed urgently.
Christina Marriott, CEO of RSPH, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Gambling with Lives to further build on our work in raising the profile of gambling as a public health issue – we are particularly excited that this project will examine the broad range of gambling products in the marketplace today and what can be done to tackle the harms from them. Remote gambling is now a £5.7 billion industry that is profiting from the estimated 1.4 million adults and 55,000 children who suffer from Gambling Disorder in Britain. There are already estimated to be 250-650 gambling related suicides in Britain every year. Gambling difficulties have devastating impacts on individuals and their families, and our laws have not kept pace to protect the public.”
Will Prochaska, CEO of Gambling with Lives said: “Modern gambling products are aggressively promoted and delivered online, and some carry addiction rates as high as 50%. We are delighted therefore to be working with RSPH to categorise what the most dangerous products and industry behaviours are and to develop what the public health response to them should be. If we are to stop the deaths from gambling related suicide we desperately need the government to take a public health approach to the risks of gambling.’