United Kingdom Gambling Commission Reviews Gambling Effects
The fact that addictive gambling that causes significant financial harm to the gamblers could be a question on the industry’s integrity has finally dawned on the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). The agency has now issued a public call to initiate collaborative research in this field that is focused on problem-gambling customers.
UKGC calls it “extensive research project, jointly supported by the Commission’s expert advisors the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) and commissioned by GambleAware.”
GambleAware is an independent entity working to protect gambling customers from addictive and harmful behavior. The well-known entity is known to have a mild anti-gambling stance and has previously worked with the government agencies for making better laws and regulations in this space.
The study proposed by the UKGC will look into the harms caused to problem-gamblers via certain gambling products and environments. The study will take all licensed UK gambling operators to provide cross-category data into the suspected addictive behavior of their customers. RGSB will also be contributing to the research, and it has already outlined the project’s objectives which includes identification of gambling patterns of problem gambling as well and types of behaviors that may be associated with at-risk gambling.
The study will also take online gambling into account. In the first phase of the study, online gambling products, people’s gambling behaviors around different products, time of the day when at-risk gambling occurs the most, differing player behaviors according to demographics and socio-economic backgrounds, the impact of losses on players, etc. It will also look into the online products that are most strongly associated with harmful gameplay.
The research is a part of a three-year plan of the UKGC, released in April, to help make the gambling industry safer and fairer for the customers. The government agency is also cracking down on unethical operators who continue to avoid licensing and duping customers. Recently, a debate around sports betting exposure to young kids in the country has also begun, and several industry heavyweights have urged the government to make suitable laws for the same.
Program Director of the Gambling Commission Ben Haden said that the agency’s strategy is to prevent harm to consumers. They want to minimize the risks that gambling could expose to people. He further said that the effectiveness of the solutions depends on how deeply they understand customer behavior and gambling products that are causing more harm than good. He also said that gambling firms play an important role in helping collect comprehensive data about customers.