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CLOSER Policy alert: House of Lords Select Committee report, Gambling Harm – Time for Action

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The House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry have published their inquiry report: Gambling Harm – Time for Action.

There is a dedicated section in the report on longitudinal surveys, which acknowledges their unique nature and value:

  • “Longitudinal studies, however, are uniquely capable of probing causal factors such as why some people are more likely to become problem gamblers, since data can be collected from the same person over all stages of the lifespan.” (p73, para 273)

The Committee makes a number of specific recommendations related to research, including:

  • “The British Gambling Prevalence Survey should be reinstated as a first step towards understanding how gambling and gambling prevalence are changing in the UK.” (p73, para 271)
  • “The Government should commission a longitudinal survey to trace how and why individuals become problem gamblers, the actions they take, the treatment they receive, and the outcomes associated with problem gambling.” (p74, para 276)

The Committee recommends that research should be funded by a levy and commissioned by the UK research councils:

  • “We do not believe that there is necessarily a need for a completely new body to be set up for the commissioning of research. Such reputable and trusted bodies already exist in the shape of the research councils, in particular the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).” (p149, para 591)
  • “We recommend that the Government should work closely with UKRI and ESRC who can advise on a structure for the commissioning of gambling-related research, funded by the mandatory levy, which would be independent of industry involvement and would be understood to be so by researchers and others.” (p150, para 594)

Finally, on access to data, the Committee recommends:

  • “Gambling companies should make freely available to researchers, and to those commissioning research, data sets with the information they have about those gambling with them online, and their communications with them (anonymised if necessary). Similar information in relation to those gambling offline should also be provided if it is available.” (p151, para 598)

Access the full report, Gambling Harm – Time for Action

Read more about the Gambling Industry Committee

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