Prevention of problem gambling

Prevention of problem gambling


Almost everything works a little bit. Nothing,
there is no silver bullet, rather effective
preventions. We’ve kind of see with other
fields that effective preventions actually
using dozens of different strategies, all
that collectively help a little bit. Some
things that work a little better than others
but there’s nothing that is not helpful to
some extent.
The main changes through introduction of new
format and particularly online versions, which
makes it particularly challenging to address.
I mean there are several changes industries
have implemented. One is making them more
at least in some jurisdictions, making it
more family-friendly destination style sort
of venue and that’s again a problematic, from
again, a risk perspective.
Whenever you portray the product as more benign
than it actually is, then people’s guard is
down. It is sort of like the problem with
industry always calls it gaming as opposed
to it’s proper term – gambling. Again people
need to be fully aware of the risks here.
So, the way in which gambling is portrayed
as benign entertainment. I mean if I was working
for an industry, that’s what I would do as
well.
But, the advertising of the product has become
much more slicker and that requires good awareness
campaigns to sort of help counteract that
sort of benign portrayal that’s occurring.
The range of products, the 24 hours availability,
that makes it much more challenging. Many
jurisdictions have loyalty cards, reward cards
where you can get so many points for how much
you gamble and that’s a very peculiar system
worldwide because in a civilisation of tobacco
consumption, alcohol consumption or you know
filling your prescription drugs is illegal
in most countries.
So it’s very peculiar why we have a system
that incentivises a consumption of gambling
and it’s a really simple matter just changing
the parameters of those loyalty cards such
that minimally you don’t collect any points
after you’ve spent hundred dollars during
the day, or you get an extra fifty points
if you read this awareness message about the
risks of gambling.
It’s very easy to change those reward cards
into reward cards that not only encourage
gambling but encourage gambling responsible
gambling so you could, you could address the
industry’s interest in consumption as well
as the general public’s interest in responsible
consumption by just achieving how those cards
work.
The things I research in terms of policy and
educational policies are again helping people
but helping a wider swath of people. If I
can get one government minister, change one
policy or improve one awareness campaign.
The potential returns on that for the general
public are much greater than what I can do
with individual connections with individual
clients.

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