Gambling operators asked to collaborate on new harm-prevention research

An extensive new research project (commissioned by GambleAware and supported jointly by the Gambling Commission and its expert advisors the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (“RGSB”) is to explore whether some gambling products and environments are more harmful than others.

Gambling operators licensed by the Commission will be asked to provide consumer gambling activity data that will be used to:

  • understand how products, environments and characteristics vary and
  • identify those more associated with harmful play.

The RGSB has published a research brief (that can be downloaded below), which sets out the proposed approach to the research.  Once the research team is in place, operators will be contacted by the Commission to explain how they can get involved at an early stage. In this respect, the Commission says that: “the aim is to strategically request data from operators that can potentially be reused, where relevant, for further research projects”.

Ben Haden, programme director at the Gambling Commission is quoted on the Commission’s website as saying: “Our strategy sets out our commitment to preventing harm to consumers from the risks gambling can pose. Success of this relies on growing our evidence base to better understand the types of gambling products and services that present more of a risk of harm to consumers than others. Gambling firms have an important role to play in achieving this as they hold comprehensive data that is vital to this research. It goes beyond simply analysing the data which is already reported to us by operators and we will be encouraging the industry to get involved.”

Clare Wyllie director of research commissioning at GambleAware has said: “GambleAware is pleased to be working with the Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board on a project that will help us to better understand gambling behaviour across different products and to know what characteristics are most strongly associated with harm – focusing on the online sector in the first phase and moving onto other sectors in subsequent phases. For the first time, we will be able to look comprehensively across the gambling industry to understand where the risk of harm lies and by making data available to researchers, industry can gain new insights to prevent harm and to ensure customers gamble safely.”