Individuals, who have been dealing with problem gambling behaviour, have been encouraged to take part in an event aimed at initiating a broader conversation on protecting others from gambling-related harm.
For years now, analysts and health professionals have been describing gambling as a public health issue that can cause serious problems of a different character, such as financial problems, anxiety, stress, family and relationship breakdowns, etc. Now, Glasgow is to become a major participant in the battle against the issue, as staff and councillors from the Glasgow City Council, the National Health Service (NHS), research agencies and charity organisations, are to hold an online event at 6:30 PM on August 6th, via Zoom.
The event is to be hosted by Public Health Scotland and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland. The latter’s programme manager, Will Griffiths, explained that it is very important that the measures aimed at reducing gambling-related harm across Glasgow involve people with experience. According to him, the person-centred approach used by the Glasgow Gambling Harms Group is an adequate one, as it allows stronger engagement to be created.
Mr Griffiths promoted the event as “a vital starting point” in protecting local people from gambling-related harm by connecting them with individuals with lived experience.
One Problem Gambler Could Affect Negatively Six Other People, Experts Say
A consultant at Public Health Scotland (PHS), Phil Mackie, explained that people could face various types of gambling-related harm, as financial problems are not the only ones that could be experienced, and gambling addiction often leads to more serious problems, including stress, relationship breakdowns and even suicide in some extreme circumstances. Mr Mackie further noted that an average of six people would be negatively affected by every person that experienced problems with gambling.
Of course, gamblers could be affected by harm associated with gambling at any time, but some people and even entire communities are considered more susceptible to the negative effect of gambling than others.
In addition, the situation has probably been only made worse by the social and economic impact that the coronavirus pandemic is having. The Government and competent authorities Covid-19 crisis have been trying to manage the negative consequences that the pandemic has so far inflicted towards recovery and renewal, and have now taken action to tackle gambling-related harm that would help Glasgow residents who find it hard to control their gambling habits.
As explained by the organisers of the online event, the latter would be the first of many ways for people to become part of a three-year project that is being funded by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The project is aimed at getting more information about the people and communities that experience harm through gambling activities and further take into consideration some appropriate measures that should be taken by Glasgow authorities to tackle spreading gambling-related harm.
Anti-gambling campaigners have been claiming that a significant increase in online gambling, gambling marketing and advertising, along with normalising gambling in sports, has been registered. Now, the parties involved in the project are aimed at measuring the exact impact of these changes on more vulnerable gamblers, especially young people, and communities not only in Glasgow but across the UK.