Gambling

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 19th December 2017.

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Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Women and Equalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if her Department will commission annual research on the level of gambling-related harm in the UK.

Photo of Tracey Crouch Tracey Crouch The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) was set up by the Gambling Commission to advise on priorities for research relating to responsible gambling. GambleAware, an independent charity, leads on commissioning and funding research into gambling-related harm and supporting education and treatment programmes, taking into account the priorities set out by the RGSB.

RGSB’s latest research programme includes as a priority work to measure gambling-related harm more effectively. This has been commissioned by GambleAware and is expected to be published in 2018. It is intended to lead to a set of metrics which can be used to measure and monitor the impact of gambling-related harm on a wider scale. Other research published by GambleAware is available on their website at https://about.gambleaware.org/research/research-publications/ .

The Department of Health, working with Public Health England, is also considering what scope there is for commissioning further research to better understand the impacts of gambling-related harm on health, and we will work with them.

The Gambling Commission tracks the prevalence of problem gambling through its quarterly survey as well as the NHS Health Surveys, which capture information on problem gambling and co-morbidities such as alcohol consumption, smoking and drug use, as well as physical and mental health conditions. The Gambling Commission surveys can be found at:

http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/Statistics-and-research/Levels-of-participation-and-problem-gambling/Gambling-participation-and-problem-gambling.aspx

The 2015 NHS Health Survey can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/health-survey-for-england-health-survey-for-england-2015

We continue to take problem gambling and gambling-related harm seriously and will consider carefully any research that adds to our understanding of this issue.

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