In addition to its National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released a new ‘framework for action’ researching gambling harm among children and young audiences.
The report places more focus upon the previous work to develop a framework for gambling-related harm amongst adults. The report has been specifically designed on questions included on ‘Ipsos MORI’s Young Person’s Omnibus survey’, as its data will be analysed to explore which questions are most and least effective.
The UKGC set out to meet three main objectives: to generate a working definition of gambling-related harms among children and young people; to establish a framework that aids the understanding and organisation of these harms; to use the framework to develop questions to be cognitively tested and then piloted on the Young Persons’ Omnibus, as a way to collect data on children’s experiences of these harms.
One of the findings that has been highlighted from the report was the correlation between mental health, emotional well being and gambling addiction. The report found that there is evidence to suggest that there may be a link between gambling and “other risky behaviours.”
It detailed: It is possible that there is a link between gambling and other ‘risky’ behaviours. This means that even if gambling is found to be associated with substance abuse or high levels of drinking, care should be taken in describing this as a gambling related harm. These may all stem from higher levels of risk taking in some young people.
“Mental health and emotional well being were highlighted as key aspects of harm to measure and tackle in both the expert workshop and the focus groups with young people.”
Education, familial relationships, physical health and social functioning were all addressed as part of the research to fully assess the true impact that problem gambling behaviours can have on young people and adults.
Helen Rhodes, the Gambling Commission’s Programme Director for Safer Gambling said: “Gaining a better understanding of the impact of gambling on children and young people is a key priority for the Commission.
“Childhood and adolescence is a key stage of development and any harms experienced at this stage in life can be detrimental to the future development, confidence and potential of young people.
“This newly released framework will provide critical insight into the range of harms that young people in Britain can experience and will help greatly in concentrating the National Strategy’s prevention and education initiatives where they will have the most impact.
“This will take time and the framework will evolve as we move into the next phase of this work. We encourage our partners in delivering the National Strategy, including public health officials and academics to feed back to us as we move into the next phase of work.”