The Howard League for Penal Reform has announced the launch of a new project in the form of a Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling that will run for three years and aim to answer the following questions:
- What are the links between crime and problem gambling?
- What impact does this link have on communities and society?
- What should be done?
In its announcement (that can be downloaded below), the Howard League states as follows:
The impact of problem gambling on crime is a burgeoning area of international concern, with a scale and diversity of offending that reflects a growing national and international portfolio of gambling activities. The Commission will lead in developing our understanding of, and ability to respond to, the links between problem gambling and crime.
The Commission will investigate patterns of crime linked to problem gambling and the societal harms that link crime and problem gambling, before seeking to make recommendations for government, the gambling industry and within the criminal justice system.
The Interim Chair of the Commission is Lucy Scott-Moncrieff, a former President of the Law Society, a trustee of the Howard League for Penal Reform and the House of Lords Commissioner for Standards. The Commission will include experts from the fields of public health, sport, gambling, law, politics and criminal justice, as well as people who are expert by experience.
The Commission will look at the driving forces influencing change and practice, including legislation, politics and the media. It will engage with industry and political leaders throughout its work.
The Commission will prompt and encourage public debate, with media coverage, consultations, seminars, evidence sessions and other events. Written evidence and submissions will be invited.
The announcement goes on to say that “further information on the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling and commissioners will be available soon”. It also invites those wishing to be kept up to date with its progress, to complete the form that is accessible here.