UK independent health association the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) has announced that it will establish the ‘Gambling Health Alliance’(The Alliance) in partnership with industry charity GambleAware.
In its mandate, the Alliance will ensure that gambling harms are placed on an ‘equal footing with other major UK public health challenges’ focussing on prevention, early intervention, and increasing community engagement/awareness of illness and triggers.
Announcing the project, Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive of RSPH, said: “While it is encouraging that gambling is rightly identified as a public health issue, more needs to be done to better understand the harms that arise from gambling, who is affected and what support can be provided to prevent harms from developing or escalating in the first place.”
Alliance stakeholders point to the guiding directive of increasing engagement, awareness and knowledge of problem gambling harms, amongst wider UK health and wellbeing networks.
For its foundation the governance of the Alliance has set out the following principal objectives:
- Highlight the rising concerns about gambling-related harms;
- Engage and influence policymakers, Government, NGOs and the public health community in order to encourage positive action;
- Promote evidence so it can be translated into practical steps;
- Undertake periodic surveys and polling to inform GHA campaigns to increase awareness of the health harms from gambling.
Updating industry stakeholders, Marc Etches, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said: “Gambling is increasingly being considered as a significant public health issue, and this new Alliance provides an opportunity for a wide range of organisations to act together to address it in a coordinated and more effective manner. As research reveals more about the breadth and complexity of the harms associated with gambling, GambleAware sees clear value in forging new partnerships with those who share our objectives to reduce those harms through a multi-level public health response.”