Labour’s manifesto commitment on gambling is irresponsible | Game

Labour’s stated commitment to “work with the industry on how to ensure responsible gambling” indicates a lack of commitment to the facts of gambling harm and how it can be prevented. It is the gaming industry and political failings that must be addressed to keep people safe. For decades, the industry has demonstrated that it is unwilling and unable to protect its customers from harm, as evidenced by the huge fines paid to the Gambling Commission for violations of its own “light touch” codes. .

Gaming business models require them to use sophisticated marketing strategies to extract the maximum benefit from each user of their products. It’s fine if your business is umbrellas or socks, but the game is different: it can destroy lives, families and communities. We know that industry products are harmful, even at low levels of use, and are designed to be addictive. All of these facts were recognized years ago, when experts suggested that the way forward was to frame gambling as a public health problem, reject the concepts of “responsible gambling” and “problem gamblers” and reform the law so that regulation priority to gambling prevention. cause harm, rather than “seeking to enable” gambling as the law now requires.

Preventing damage should be the priority, not providing funding for subsequent treatment. The partners in this effort should be the healthcare community, not the industry or those who depend on its funding. Reviving “responsible gaming” and presenting the industry as a legitimate partner in responding to the public health problems it causes is contrary to the evidence and conflicts with Labour’s commitment to promoting health and equity.
Professor Rebecca Cassidy Goldsmiths, University of London, Dr. May van Schalkwyk honorary researcher, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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