Thursday, 29 April 2021

GambleAware Unveils Five-Year Strategy To Reduce Gambling Harm

Gambling Harm

Leading gambling charity GambleAware has unveiled a five-year strategy to reduce gambling harm.

According to GambleAware, the new Organisational Strategy focuses on four key commissioning objectives; developing awareness and an understanding of gambling harms, increasing access to services and reducing gambling harm inequalities, building capacity among health and community services to respond better to gambling harms, and improving the coherence, accessibility, diversity, and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service.

The charity has said that longer-term financial commitments from the gambling industry have made it possible for GambleAware to focus on grant-making, the procurement of services, and investment in preventing gambling harm in the longer term. Increased investment will be based on a public health approach, which will enable further collaboration and growth of the National Gambling Treatment Service.

What’s more, GambleAware has said it’s looking to collaborate with health and community services to complete its vision of a “society safe from gambling harms” and has stated that effective prevention requires a coherent and coordinated “whole system approach” that acknowledges the other organisations, networks, and individuals that play a key role across said system.

The strategy includes more than 40 programmes across research, evaluation, education, and treatment to “achieve its vision of a society safe from gambling harm”. The programmes include delivering improvements to the National Gambling Treatment Service, the co-commissioning of place-based hubs, training for faith leaders and debt advisers, a targeted women’s prevention campaign, new youth education hubs, and research programmes to develop knowledge of the lived experiences of gambling harm against women and other minorities.

Zoë Osmond, the CEO of GambleAware, said in a statement: “Following a detailed consultation, it is clear that GambleAware and other organisations need to work together to achieve a society that is safe from gambling harms. Thanks to greater certainty in funding, we are now able to develop and implement longer-term commissioning plans to work towards a society where fewer people experience gambling harms and ensure that those who do, receive timely and effective support.”

She added: “Over the next five years, we will work to build the accessibility and effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service and ensure it is recognised as a strong coalition of treatment services and prevention activities, delivered in collaboration with the NHS and others. By 2026, we hope to have made significant progress towards our vision, but also want to ensure that these programmes will continue to be sustained beyond the five-year term of this strategy.”

News of the GambleAware’s Organisational Strategy comes after the charity, which in March launched the second phase of its ‘Tap Out’ campaign, published its annual GB Treatment and Support Survey for 2020 which found an increase in the number of problem gamblers seeking help.

The news also comes as the UK Government is in the midst of its review of the Gambling Act 2005, a review which could see numerous changes made to the gambling industry, including a potential ban on sports sponsorships and tighter rules on the design or play of casino games.

Belgian Gaming Commission Launches New Campaign

Also this week, the Belgian Gaming Commission (CJH), which is responsible for regulating all gambling in Belgium, has announced the launch of its new ‘Always Play Legally’ campaign to combat unlicensed gambling.

As reported by FocusGN, the new campaign was created in consultation with licensed gambling operators, and it will run until June 11, when the UEFA Euro 2021 tournament begins. The CJH aims to raise awareness of which gambling operators are licensed for Belgium and to educate customers on how they can identify which operators are licensed and which are not.

Licensed operators will display the ‘Always Play Legally’ logo on their websites are part of the campaign, and the CJH will release short weekly videos providing viewers with answers to frequently asked questions customers may have when identifying licensed gambling operators.

The launch of the campaign is part of the CJH’s move to crack down on the number of people playing at unlicensed websites. The Commission had previously estimated that around 20% of Belgian gamblers play at unlicensed operators and it has expressed concern that most players are unaware of the dangers of unlicensed gambling sites.

Operator Pinnacle Announces Partnership With Gamban

Meanwhile, sportsbook operator Pinnacle has struck a partnership with self-exclusion software provider Gamban, allowing Pinnacle customers to block themselves from the sports betting website free of charge. The partnership is part of Pinnacle’s ongoing commitment to boosting player protection.

Veronique Dos Reis, the Head of Legal and Compliance at Pinnacle, told iGamingBusiness: “Responsible gambling and player welfare are industry-wide issues, so we’re pleased to work with Gamban to offer our customers a blanket self-exclusion tool which covers all gambling sites, not just our own.

“It’s important that those at risk have access to the simplest tools in order to protect themselves effectively. Gamban delivers exactly that, and we’re very confident this free facility will be a significant addition to our responsible gaming arsenal.”

Jack Symons, the Co-Founder of Gamban, added: “Pinnacle’s displaying great commitment to its customers by offering this valuable support. This further highlights how layering self-exclusion with blocking software is becoming ever more important.

“In a world where the lure of immediate gratification through digital activity is increasingly tempting, we want to help people regain control and balance – and by using Gamban, they can do that.”

Back in December 2020, Gamban, GamCare, and GamStop partnered for their joint TalkBanStop responsible gambling campaign designed to promote the benefits of using free support services to help gambling addiction.