Glasgow City Council to develop new approach to tackle problem gambling

Glasgow City Council is preparing to stage a summit in order to examine gambling related challenges in the city and develop a new framework to combat and reduce gambling harms. 

The summit, which will feature academics, third sector, health professionals, youth workers and individuals who have suffered with gambling problems, was approved at a meeting of the Council’s Wellbeing, Empowerment, Community and Citizen Engagement City Policy Committee.

The Committee discussed various gambling related factors before concluding that the most effective course of action would be to stage a summit with the aim of developing a new approach that specialises in the prevention and treatment of individuals impacted by gambling.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee, Councillor Bailie Annette Christie stated: “The gambling sector has changed over recent years and therefore how we tackle the problems that arise from gambling addiction and how it impacts other areas of a person’s life, needs to change too.”

The committee is also set to fight for a stronger focus on prevention as it will begin exploring different international methods that work in regard to limiting and preventing harm. Moreover, the committee also looks set to review the support that is made available to council staff, whilst also lobbying for a more specialised education around the topic.

Christie added: “We need to treat gambling the same as alcohol and smoking addictions have been treated in the past – as public health problems. We need a new approach and to look at all the different policy areas including health, education, planning, licensing, and financial inclusion that could be used to treat and support people and prevent the harm in the first place.”

The Committee also expressed a need for closer work with partners as to ensure appropriate care for those in need whilst also stating that both the Council and Licensing Board should continue to work closely with the Gambling Commission, as well as the Scottish and UK Governments.

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