The Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) is the leading charity in the UK committed to minimizing gambling-related harm. It funds education, prevention and treatment services and commissions research.
On December 11, the RGT hosted its first ever harm minimization conference in London. The conference brought together about 150 participants from government, academia, industry and responsible gambling campaigners.
Among the presenters were Jonathan Parke from the RGT who spoke about ways of restricting access and facilitating player awareness, a theme that was further explored by Alex Blaszczynski in his presentation about how to facilitate player control. I spoke about gambling advertising – what is known and unknown about advertising’s impact on problem gambling, and the feasibility of gaining useful knowledge through future studies. Robert Williams from Canada gave an excellent overview of the prevention of problem gambling with regard to evidence and best practices. Jim Orford from the UK raised questions regarding the concept of “harm minimization” in relation to harm prevention more generally.
There were two panel discussions. One about the costs and benefits for gambling companies to introduce effective harm minimization; the other about how to detect and manage gambling-related harm using behaviour analytics. Discussions were lively and included many people from the audience.
In sum, this was a very good conference that brought together people with different opinions and different interests relating to gambling to exchange knowledge and constructively discuss important topics.