This year’s annual Harm-Minimisation Conference of GambleAware started yesterday at The King’s Fund in London.
The UK leading charity which is focused at helping gambling addicts and individuals who are put at risk from becoming problem gamblers holds its fifth annual conference as part of its strategy to shape the direction of research and policy development, and to also promote player protection and responsible gambling behaviour.
This year’s Harm-Minimisation Conference is dedicated to young people’s gambling habits and reduction of gambling-related harm over the upcoming years. Several leading figures in the industry have already attended the first day of the conference, and the program for December 7th features an increased focus on lotteries, gambling and professional sport.
Yesterday, the Chair of GambleAware charity Kate Lampard commented on the industry attitudes towards constantly rising problem gambling concerns. As reported by The Guardian, Ms. Lampard shared she was very surprised with the overall attitude of the industry towards gambling-related harm and warned gambling operators, saying they had faced a massive threat at a time when public trust in them is falling.
According to GambleAware’s Chair, gambling companies deserved criticism for their aggressive behaviour in the local gambling market and the hostile welcome she received after taking over the position at the gambling charity.
Kate Lampard Calls for UK Gambling Industry Changes
Ms. Lampard, who is known for previously leading the inquiry into the NHS role in the Jimmy Savile child abuse scandal, explained she was shocked by the first impressions she got from the industry. As The Guardian reported, she reminded that a number of senior executives had tried to reduce her privileges and undermine her work after she had said in a press interview that some gambling operators were making fun of the existing problems in the industry by failing to make sufficient donations to charity organisations aimed at dealing with gambling addictions.
According to GambleAware’s Chair, public opinion to date represents a serious threat to the future success of the local gambling industry. Speaking at the annual conference of the charity, Ms. Lampard said that attitudes in the industry must be changed in order for a better long-term view to be ensured.
GambleAware’s Chair further shared that the conflict between bookmakers and rival gambling operators in the industry over the regulation of highly-controversial fixed-odds betting terminals would not be beneficial for none of the parties involved. It turned out that her concerns were shared by the executive director of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) Tim Miller. Mr. Miller said that gambling companies should stop attacking their commercial rivals and become more focused on their own performance rather than anything else.
According to UK gambling regulatory body’s Executive Director, gambling needs to be treated as public health concern and reminded that one of the latest studies of the local industry had revealed that the number of gambling addicts in the country had increased to 430,000.