A new research headed by the University of Glasgow showed that Governments around the globe are still not doing enough to address the gambling-related harm inflicted on people’s health and well-being.
According to an article focused on public health approaches to gambling and the legislative trends associated with these approaches that was published in The Lancet Public Health, legislation around the world actually widely recognizes gambling harm as a serious problem. Unfortunately, despite that, lawmakers around the world seem unwilling to address the issue in a meaningful way that would make a difference for people.
Apart from that, the research found there is also an overwhelming focus on controlling individual customers, rather than controlling the gambling sector on a global scale.
As mentioned above, the review was undertaken at the University of Glasgow in partnership with the Center for Research on Addiction, Control, and Governance at the University of Helsinki. The researchers compiled data from countries that have already rolled out significant legislative changes to their gambling markets in the period from 2018 to 2021.
Dr. Daria Ukhova, project investigator from the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow noted that harmful gambling is already recognized as a serious health and well-being issue around the world. She further shared that the impacts of gambling-related harm could be devastating, with the issue even leading to suicide attempts or completed suicide in some cases, and explained that hers and her colleagues’ review suggested that getting more information about the potential harm associated with gambling has not yet been translated into action.
Policy-Makers around the Globe Do Not Do Much to Address Gambling Harm, Researchers Say
The study found that even in contexts where gambling-related harm has been recognized by lawmakers, the more comprehensive focus of policymakers has been on the harm experienced on an individual level rather than wider social and economic harm that also affects individuals who are not directly involved in gambling. In its turn, the focus on harm prevention policies has been placed on encouraging responsibility and individual control, rather than on regulating product design or gambling industry practices.
Academics from the University of Helsinki’s Center for Research on Addiction, Control, and Governance were the first scientists who recommended a global approach to be taken when it comes to reviewing gambling legislation on a global scale.
According to Dr. Virve Marionneau, ensuring a comparative understanding of each country’s regulatory and legislative approach to gambling-related harm. She noted that gambling causes extremely negative harm globally, but lawmakers lacked a standard approach to such harm. The research findings support policy-makers across the world by providing recommendations for long-term policy directions, strategic planning and collaboration between the different jurisdictions on addressing gambling-related harm as a public health issue.
As mentioned above, some nations have already been in the process of making legislative changes to address gambling as the potential social danger it poses. Unfortunately, the process is usually complex and takes quite a lot of time and effort.