How To Tackle Problem Gambling
Mark Griffiths, 13 Oct 17
       

It’s not easy. Shutterstock

At the Labour Party conference, the party’s deputy leader Tom Watson said that if they formed the next government they would introduce legislation to force gambling operators to pay a levy to fund research and NHS treatment to help problem gamblers deal with their addiction. This is something which I wholeheartedly support and is also something that I have been calling for myself for over a decade.

The most recent statistics on gambling participation by the Gambling Commission in August 2017 reported that 63% of the British population had gambled in the last year and that the prevalence rate of problem gambling among those aged 16 years and over was 0.6%-0.7%. While this is relatively low, it still equates to approximately 360,000 adult problem gamblers and is of serious concern.

At present, the gambling industry voluntarily donates money to an independent charitable trust (GambleAware) and most of this money funds gambling treatment, with the remaining monies being used to fund education and research. In the 12 months prior to March 2017, the gambling industry had donated £8m, an amount still 20% below the £10m a year I recommended in a report I wrote for the British Medical Association a number of years ago.

A statutory levy of 1% on all gambling profits made by the British gambling industry would raise considerably more money for gambling education, treatment and research than the £8m voluntarily donated last year and is the main reason why I am in favour of it.

A public health matter

Gambling has not been traditionally viewed as a public health matter. However, I believe that gambling addiction is a health issue as much as a social issue because there are many health consequences for those addicted to gambling, including depression, insomnia, intestinal disorders, migraine, and other stress related disorders. This is in addition to other personal issues, such as problems with personal relationships (including divorce), absenteeism from work, neglect of family, and bankruptcy.

Sign in to view full article

       
Organ Transplants and Scarcity, Innovation, and Politics
We all want to live a long time. And in vigorous good health while doing so.
David T. Jones
Mon, 20 Feb 17
Robots, Aliens, Corporate Drones – Who Will be The Citizens of the Future?
In the 1940s, science fiction author Olaf Stapledon gave a talk to a school about the future. Addressing his audience ...
Will Slocombe
Wed, 22 Mar 17
Singapore’s Ageing Population, a Challenge for Hospitals and Nurses
The increase in hospital admission and ensuing demands on intensive medical care will trigger the need for more hospital beds: ...
Epoch Newsroom
Mon, 2 Jan 17
The Science of Gossip: Four Ways to Make it Less Toxic
Gossip gets a bad rap. There’s no doubt that the act of gossiping about someone can sometimes be damaging and ...
Jenny Cole
Sat, 1 Apr 17
The Future: Making Singapore an Elder-Friendly Place
The government aims to make Singapore “an inclusive elder-friendly place” and the first step starts from the elders’ flats.
Jocelyn Neo
Mon, 2 Jan 17
An Epoch Times Survey
Sports Elements
Join us today!
BUCHERER
Read about Forced Organ Harvesting
Sports Elements