The UK Gambling Commission has released a new report it says can help to measure the potential harm gambling can have on society.

Gambling Commission

The report comes from by Dr Heather Wardle, on behalf of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board which provides independent advice to the UK Gambling Commission.

A result of close collaboration between the Gambling Commission, GambleAware as funding body, and RGSB, the report calls for views on how the social cost of gambling-related harms can be measured and better understood.

Mapping out for the first time methodology that could be used to quantify the impact gambling can have on relationships, finances and health, the report seeks to: agree a definition of gambling-related harms that can be used by policy makers and public health officials; explore how the social and economic impact of gambling-related harms can be better understood, measured and monitored; set a framework for action that considers how the impact of harms can be felt by individuals, families and communities; and identify the most effective way to estimate the social cost of gambling-related harms.

The UK Gambling Commission’s chief executive Neil McArthur said: “While the majority of consumers can enjoy gambling without experiencing harm, we cannot forget the devastating effects it can have on some individuals, families and communities. This report shows significant progress in understanding those effects and measuring the impacts on wider society and the economy as a whole.

“We do not see this as a definitive position – it’s very much a work in progress. We encourage public health officials, academics, the industry and the public to feed back on the report and work with us to set a framework that can help prevent harm to consumers.”