The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has sanctioned new research exploring ‘whether some gambling products and environments are more harmful than others’.
The study into gambling products and environments will be supervised by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) and commissioned by industry charity GambleAware.
The UKGC will seek to gather consumer information and data from industry stakeholders, focusing on understanding product dynamics, gambling environments, and further characteristics that could lead vulnerable players to ‘harmful play’.
Clare Wyllie Director of Research at GambleAware said: “GambleAware is pleased to be working with the Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board on a project that will help us to better understand gambling behaviour across different products and to know what characteristics are most strongly associated with harm – focusing on the online sector in the first phase and moving onto other sectors in subsequent phases. For the first time, we will be able to look comprehensively across the gambling industry to understand where the risk of harm lies and by making data available to researchers, industry can gain new insights to prevent harm and to ensure customers gamble safely.”
In its update, the UKGC has published the RGSB’s ‘research brief’, outlining the study’s framework for cooperation.
“The aim is to strategically request data from operators that can potentially be reused, where relevant, for a further research project. Once the research team is in place, operators will be contacted by the Commission to explain how they can get involved at an early stage” details the UKGC in its research statement
UKGC Programme Director Ben Haden commented on the research: “Our strategy sets out our commitment to preventing harm to consumers from the risks gambling can pose. The success of this relies on growing our evidence base to better understand the types of gambling products and services that present more of a risk of harm to consumers than others. Gambling firms have an important role to play in achieving this as they hold comprehensive data that is vital to this research. It goes beyond simply analysing the data which is already reported to us by operators and we will be encouraging the industry to get involved.”