2019 – a year of change for gambling in the UK?

Stephanie Bramley is a Research Associate at the NIHR Health and Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London. (801 words)

It is only the middle of March and the Unit has submitted responses to three consultations about gambling.

This month we submitted a response to the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on gambling-related harm (Bramley, Manthorpe & Norrie, 2019a). This Group was previously the APPG on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) and following the success that it had with reducing the stake on FOBTs from £100 to £2 per spin, the Group has decided to conduct an inquiry into the impacts of online gambling (Gambling-related harm APPG, no date). Continue reading

Viva Las Vegas! Observations about gambling from Las Vegas…

Stephanie Bramley is a Research Associate at the NIHR Health and Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London. (702 words)

Earlier this year I visited Las Vegas with two of my friends.  It was my first trip to Las Vegas and as a researcher who explores the impact of gambling for vulnerable people I was somewhat apprehensive about what I may see in Las Vegas.  However, the trip provided a good opportunity to explore gambling in ‘Sin City’.

The first thing that struck me was that gambling is synonymous with visiting hotels.  The majority of hotels in Las Vegas are ‘gaming hotels’ meaning that they have gambling facilities inside, typically a casino.  Indeed the casino is often central to hotel life – meaning that you often have to walk through a casino in order to visit any other part of the hotel.  For example, we stayed at the Paris Las Vegas whose check-in desks were situated off to the right-hand side of the casino floor. Furthermore, because of the location of the check-in desks it may be that children and young people may be exposed to gambling activities.  We did see a few families in the hotel who were visiting the hotel’s restaurants.  Although the official visitor statistics state that fewer children (classified as individuals under 21 years of age) visited Las Vegas in 2017 compared to 2016 (GLS Research, no date). Continue reading

Gambling: legitimate leisure or escalating public health issue?

Caroline NorrieSCWRU Researcher, Caroline Norrie, reports on a NatCen-hosted debate about whether gambling should be treated as a public health issue. (1,335 words)

Researchers, industry and government representatives, LA staff and gambling-support organisation workers gathered to debate whether gambling is a legitimate entertainment activity or an escalating public health danger on 7 March 2018 at the NatCen (National Centre for Social Research) offices in London.

Opportunities to gamble have burgeoned in England since the introduction of the Gambling Act 2005 (implemented in 2007). Industry de-regulation combined with technological advances have triggered an explosion of new online and offline gambling products which has been accompanied by widespread cross-media advertising. Continue reading

Day three of the 2018 International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand

Researcher Stephanie Bramley from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at the Policy Institute at King’s College London attended the 2018 International Gambling Conference, held from 12 February to 14 February. This is the last of three posts from the conference. (306 words)

Day three of the International Gambling Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, began with an Asian welcome ahead of the forthcoming Chinese New Year celebrations.

Today’s keynote address was given by Prof. Samson Tse (University of Hong Kong).  Samson spoke about Chinese migrants’ gambling behaviour and suggested that loneliness (including feeling marginalised and restless) and the concept of ‘losing face’ (in relation to perceived status, privilege and pride) may be related to such behaviour.  Samson thought that there is a need for ‘disruptive innovations’ in order to ‘flip the iceberg’ and called for strong programmes to reduce stigma; treating the whole person; supporting family and affected others; and peer support interventions.  Samson encourage attendees to ‘act locally, think globally’ so as to address gambling-related harm. Continue reading

Day two of the 2018 International Gambling Conference, Auckland, New Zealand

Researcher Stephanie Bramley from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at the Policy Institute at King’s College London attended the 2018 International Gambling Conference held from 12 February to 14 February. This is the second of three posts Stephanie is filing from the conference. (326 words)

Day two of the International Gambling Conference in Auckland, New Zealand, began with a Pacific welcome from the Dominion Road Tongan Methodist Church Youth Group.  The group performed a song whose message was to ‘say no to gambling, yes to family’.

The day’s keynote address was given by Prof. Rebecca Cassidy (Goldsmiths, University of London). Rebecca shared research that she had conducted in London betting shops. She had trained as a cashier and worked in two betting shops for 6 months. During that time she heard about cases of violence, armed robbery and the potential dangers faced by betting shops staff who sometimes work alone. However, such incidents were rarely reported to police, and staff were often not offered any support or counselling. Continue reading

Flipping the iceberg on gambling harm, mental health and co-existing issues – at the 2018 International Gambling Conference in Auckland, New Zealand

Researcher Stephanie Bramley from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at the Policy Institute at King’s College London attended the 2018 International Gambling Conference on Monday 12 February to Wednesday 14 February 2018. This is the first of three posts from the conference. (784 words)

This biennial event was held at the Auckland University of Technology and was an informative three-day conference, this year focusing on flipping the iceberg on gambling-related harm, mental health and co-existing issues. In this blog post I report on day one’s content.

Attendees were encouraged to “join the family” and embrace the notion of family during the conference. The conference was opened by Mana Whenua Matua Bob Hawke who gave us a Maori welcome before Paula Snowden, CEO of the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, welcomed delegates. Continue reading

Young people and gambling in changing times: implications, risks and harms?

Caroline NorrieStephanie BramleyResearchers Caroline Norrie (right) and Stephanie Bramley from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at the Policy Institute at King’s College London attended the 5th annual Harm-Minimisation Conference on Wednesday 6 December and Thursday 7 December 2017. (1,233 words)

GambleAware, the charity funded by gambling operators to fund treatment services, education and research to help minimise gambling-related harm in Great Britain, held its annual conference at The King’s Fund, London in December. This was a jam-packed two days of speakers and this year the focus was on two issues: 1) gambling and the implications for young people, and 2) gambling and sport. In this blog post we focus on the first subject, but a summary of content relating to gambling and sport is in GambleAware’s own conference report. Continue reading

Gambling Disorders in Women

Caroline NorrieStephanie BramleyStephanie Bramley (Research Associate, left) and Caroline Norrie (Research Fellow) from the Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King’s College London report from a seminar about Gambling Disorders in Women, held in London on 12 September 2017. (1179 words)

A new book ‘Gambling Disorders in Women: An international female perspective on treatment and research’ was launched at a special seminar on 12 September in Parliament’s Portcullis House. The book aims to raise the profile of gambling disorders in women and also provide fellow professionals across the world with a shared understanding of evidence based treatment and recovery in problem gambling literature and research.

The seminar was organised by book editors Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones (Founder and Director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic, London) and Dr Fulvia Prever (Psychologist and Psychotherapist working in the National Health System Addictions Clinic in Milan, Italy). It was sponsored by Gambling Integrity and hosted by Karen Buck MP. Continue reading

Gambling – a risky business?

Stephanie BramleyCaroline NorrieDr Stephanie Bramley (Research Associate, left) and Caroline Norrie (Research Fellow) of the Social Care Workforce Research Unit at King’s introduce their new study. (1335 words)

In May the Unit began working on a new project exploring gambling participation by adults at risk. Here we explain some of the background to this study and set out what we intend to focus on. We would be pleased to hear from people with an interest in this subject—either existing interest or new interest following this blog.

Gambling is a popular leisure activity in Britain. The Gambling Commission says that 45% of adults participated in gambling during the last 4 weeks. Playing the National Lottery is the most popular activity, followed by online gambling, scratchcards, other lotteries, horses, sports betting, online betting and private betting. Between October 2014 and September 2015 the British gambling industry generated a gross gambling yield of £12.6 billion (the amount retained by gambling operators after the payment of winnings, but before the deduction of the costs of the operation) (Gambling Commission, 2016) and in the 2015-16 tax year the tax revenue from betting and gaming reached £2.7 billion (HMRC, 2016). Continue reading