By using a gambling harm prevention model (see this page). We will propose that GPs should screen for gambling addiction, we will campaign for stricter controls on advertising and establish independent information resources for people affected by gambling addiction. We will also investigate the effectiveness of, and the attitudes of parents towards gambling awareness education being on the state curriculum.
Lobby the Secretary of State to impose a statutory levy
This is already provided for in Section 123 of the Gambling Act 2005 (there is provision also under Schedule 3 to the Act, for the National Lottery to be made subject to levy requirements). We have created a direct.gov.uk e-petition, which if it secures the backing of 100,000 signatures will be eligible for debate in Parliament. We will engage with politicians with the aim of reviewing the current structure, where the gambling industry is involved in the commissioning of research.
Create and promote a gambling addiction awareness week
Most other developed countries already hold an awareness week, in addition to this, we are also proposing a UK National No Gambling Day.
Identify problem gambling products and policies
Campaign for truly independent peer-reviewed research. Lobby for funding provided through an increased statutory levy, (target £50 million) and distributed through independent bodies, e.g. the Economic and Social Research Council.
Any proposed new form of gambling, mode or type of venue, should be subject to a full social, health and economic impact assessment. This would be designed to avoid the kind of mistake that was made when, some years ago, FOBTs were permitted in British betting shops. Recommend that research is centered around problem gambling products and policies rather than the current focus on problematic individuals.
Challenge government & industry representation of gambling as a fun product
Gambling is commonly presented as ‘fun’ and any harmful effects are blamed on irresponsible individuals. We will contest the use of language like ‘problem gambler’, and the oxymoronic ‘responsible gambling’.
Advocate that treatment for Gambling Disorder is provided through the NHS.
Gambling should be seen as a cross-department issue, with the Department of Health, Home Office, and Department for Culture Media and Sport having regular and ongoing inputs.
The Minister with chief responsibility for gambling should be a Department of Health Minister, reflecting an important shift towards seeing gambling first and foremost as a public health matter.