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“Building on Success”

“Building on Success”

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“Building on Success”

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  1. “Building on Success” 12th Annual Conference

  2. Anthony Jennens Chairman, GamCare

  3. “Building on Success” 12th Annual Conference

  4. Andrew McIntosh President, GamCare

  5. “Building on Success” 12th Annual Conference

  6. Andrew Tottenham Chair, The GREaT Foundation

  7. “Building on Success” 12th Annual Conference

  8. Baroness Neuberger DBE Chair of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board Interim Chair of the Responsible Gambling Fund

  9. “Building on Success” 12th Annual Conference

  10. Professor Peter Collins Director, Centre for the Study of Gambling, Salford

  11. Responsible Gambling: What it is, Why it matters and How to make it happen Presentation by Prof Peter Collins University of Salford GamCare Conference October 2009

  12. Overview • “Responsible Gambling”. A contradiction in terms or an unnecessary excuse for paternalism? • Consumer choice and consumer protection • “Informed choice,” – the core concept • Three ideal types: those with actual gambling-related problems; those at risk because they currently gamble; those who might gamble • Practical implications • Latest Developments

  13. What is “Responsible Gambling?”: A Contradiction in terms? • A contradiction like “responsible prostitution” or “responsible” indulgence in any “vice”? For many people “Yes” because indulgence in vice is always irresponsible • No matter what constraints are placed by governments on suppliers and consumers of commercial gambling services some people will always think that, at best, this is only preferable to complete prohibition because prohibition is impracticable even though prohibition is what would be the most desirable state of affairs • The essential fact about gambling, and what makes it exceptionally difficult to develop and implement sensible public policy for, is that it is widely thought of as a vice – i.e. an activity which typically many people enjoy a lot and many people (sometimes the same people) consider to be immoral.

  14. What is “Responsible Gambling?”: An Excuse for Paternalism • Compare “responsible gambling” with “responsible golfing” or any other leisure activity not considered a “vice” like eating cakes • A minority over-indulge and do harm to themselves and their families • But that’s not the government’s business • And we don’t think we need golf and cake “awareness days” or national responsible golf and cake strategies

  15. What is Responsible Gambling? A Political Compromise • In societies where gambling is legal, some people wish it weren’t because they think it immoral or dangerous or both; others see no difference between gambling and any other form of entertainment which people may choose to spend time and money enjoying; most think it should not be wholly forbidden to those who enjoy it but also that it’s not as harmless as playing golf or eating cake • Therefore we should have some but not too much legal, commercial gambling and what there is should be: - regulated responsibly - supplied responsibly - consumed responsibly • This makes “responsible gambling” a concept which cannot be precisely, scientifically or otherwise objectively defined because what is to be meant by it in any particular context is open to negotiation and will express a political compromise or consensus • Because of this what counts as “responsible gambling” at any particular time is always unstable and never pleases everyone • So the main function of responsible gambling policies, programmes and practices, from the point of view of government and industry, is to sustain the support of public opinion for current policies and enable them to rebut publicly voiced criticisms of current or proposed policies

  16. So What is “Responsible Gambling?” • “Responsible gambling” can usefully be used to refer to any set of policies, programmes and/or practices which maximally reduces the likelihood that people will harm themselves or others by spending too much time or money gambling, while minimally inhibiting the ability of those who wish to gamble harmlessly from doing so • This means that implementing responsible gambling measures is a matter of promoting not only consumer protection but also consumer choice (Budd, Eadington, Forrest, new proposed internet legislation in USA, “consumer surplus” and more fun)

  17. Relating the Two Principles • Sometimes the principle of consumer choice conflicts with the principle of consumer protection and compromises must be made • E.g. How much should we curtail the freedom on non-problem gamblers in the hope of protecting problem gamblers from themselves? (Issues of availability, limits on stakes and prizes, responsible gambling features etc) • The principle of proportionality and other principles of good regulation are needed here (compare: speed limits) • But sometimes the promotion of consumer choice and consumer protection reinforce each other as when people are addicted or ignorant of what they are doing

  18. Problem Gambling and Informed Choice • Gambling is “problematic” in the sense of requiring action by governments, by industry and or by treatment and prevention specialists when: - Either the gambler is addicted in the sense that he or she would like to stop or cut down but can’t (for whatever reason) - Or the gambler would cut down or stop gambling if they knew relevant facts about the gambling they are engaging in but which they do not know • In these cases the consumer is neither able to exercise free choice nor is adequately protected by government from exploitation and deception by suppliers • Conversely, gambling is unproblematic when players are exercising informed choice, i.e. are genuinely free to choose because not behaving compulsively, and know what they are doing

  19. So who needs protection – and liberation? Three Ideal Types • Those who currently gamble and create problems for themselves and others much because they are addicted or ignorant of what they are doing • Those who currently gamble unproblematically but might develop problems in the future • Those who currently don’t gamble but might in the future and who, if they do will need to be able to avoid gambling problematically

  20. What responsible gambling measures need to be in place for the current problem gambler? • Information that there is such a thing as problem gambling (?50%+ of problem gamblers don’t. Most GPs and PCTs don’t) • Information that free, confidential and expert help is available • Information about how to access this easily and with minimum difficulty • Facilities for contacting a suitably sympathetic and knowledgeable counsellor – preferably immediately, i.e. on impulse • Facilities for accessing further free, confidential and expert help with gambling problems in one-on-one sessions, in groups, by telephone or internet • Facilities for accessing such help with related matters such as - comorbidities: other psychological disorders such as substance abuse, depression or anxiety disorders - employment issues - debt and money management - family and other personal relationships

  21. What responsible gambling measures need to be in place for the current non-problem gambler? • Reinforcement of the message that gambling ought to be a form of entertainment for which you pay by accepting the House Advantage • Understanding how games work and generate House Advantage • Not being exposed to features of games or the environment which mislead about the chances of winning or otherwise undermine the ability to exercise rational control (e.g. play for play on internet, columns with past numbers at roulette, encouragement to get intoxicated etc) • Access to warning signs about the possible onset of problem gambling • Access to information about what to do if you think you have a problem

  22. What responsible gambling measures need to be in place for the current non-gamblers? • Access to a general understanding that gambling can be dangerous • Access to information about what you can do to avoid getting into trouble if you do take up gambling (budgeting etc) • Access to information about how to identify and help someone else who is in trouble as a result of problem gambling

  23. What else needs to be done? Educating Professionals • Most obviously, the professionals likely to encounter people, some or most of whose problems derive from excessive or compulsive gambling, need to be informed - as part of their continuing professional development - about the nature of problem gambling, how to identify it and what to do about it • The group of professionals at present most scandalously lacking in this knowledge is the medical profession • But social workers, law enforcement personnel, ministers of religion, bank managers etc all need to understand this phenomenon

  24. What else needs to be done? Developing an extensive and trustworthy knowledge base • Everyone, everywhere laments the absence of knowledge about how best to prevent and treat problem gambling, mainly because of inadequate scientific understanding of the causes, character and consequences of this phenomenon • This can only be remedied by growing the capacity for good research around the world, collating the efforts and findings of researchers and disseminating it to all interested parties • This requires centres of excellence in gambling studies which collaborate with each other to which scholars working on any aspect of gambling studies, nationally and internationally would be affiliated • This would mean that - all interested parties, including public officials (ministers, civil servants, parliamentarians, regulators, local councillors and officers), industry managers, the media, treatment and prevention professionals, other professionals and the general public could make inquiries about any aspect of gambling studies and - be confident of getting an answer which reflected the honest views of the best researchers in the area relying on the best available evidence • The alternative is to leave the shaping of public opinion to those who are unscrupulous in their use of evidence to further ideological, political, commercial or self-glorificatory agendas

  25. Some New Developments • Increasing investigation of the distinction between addicted and non-addicted problem gamblers • Increasing recognition of need to address comorbidities in treatment • Emphasis on Consumer Protection rather than on “Protecting the Vulnerable” • Increasing understanding by industry and government of the link between profits (and therefore taxability), public opinion and credible responsible gambling strategies • Increasing awareness of the need for all concerned with responsible gambling to collaborate rather than compete

  26. A Concluding Prediction • We have all over the world spent huge quantities of time and money over the past ten years trying to minimise the comparatively small amounts of harm caused when recreational gamblers for whatever reason lose control and to ensure that recreational gambling is strictly regulated so as to be crime-free, fair to players and protective of the vulnerable • Meanwhile through ideological naivety, political and commercial short-termism, incompetence and a culture of moral cynicism, we have deregulated the financial services industries so as to transform them into a giant global internet betting business which is neither crime-free, fair to players nor protective of the vulnerable • Some informal estimates (which merit proper research) suggest that at least half of all traders meet the criteria set out by the American Psychiatric Association for identifying probable pathological gamblers – they are obsessed with their “bets”, they sacrifice their personal lives to their betting, they spend far too much time betting, they chase their losses, they lie about their gambling, they steal in order to sustain their habit, and when it goes wrong they contemplate suicide • This is where those concerned with responsible gambling will need to focus their energies and attention in the future

  27. “Building on Success” 12th Annual Conference

  28. Andy McLellan Chief Executive, GamCare

  29. Gamcare 12th Annual Conference 2009“Building on Success” Andy McLellan, CEO, GamCare

  30. Agenda • What are we dealing with? • 2) What have we achieved? • 3) What could we be doing?

  31. What are we dealing with? • 68% of adult population gamble • Problem gamblers:0.5/0.6% = c 250,000 people • Dynamic snapshot • Family & friends x4 = 1.25 million • Further 1.4% - 660,000 people – at “moderate risk” • Cf problem drug users c327,000 • And how much is spent on drugs?

  32. What are we dealing with? • But on the plus side: • A clear(er) regulatory framework • An industry that we can work with, and which takes its customers seriously • Partners around the country committed to working with us

  33. What have we achieved? • No levy • A fundraiser that looks like it will work • An industry increasingly conscious of responsible gambling, and increasingly equipped to encourage it • A developing and effective infrastructure for delivery

  34. What have we achieved? • FrontLine Services • HelpLine/NetLine calls up 21% • NetLine alone up 300% • Speaking to 100 callers every day • ChatRoom sessions doubled • 50% more new posts on Forum • 94% of callers rate service Excellent/VG

  35. What have we achieved? • Counselling • Sessions up by 30% • Problem gamblers: • - 88% at start of treatment • - 15% at end • More than 300 people in treatment at any one time • 4 new Partner areas • 60% of GB population in reach of GamCare counselling

  36. What have we achieved? • GamCare Trade Services • Trained 520 industry employees at 28 sessions since April 2008 • Certification - 25 remote companies - 54 websites - 25 terrestrial companies • Income target 2009/10: £150k

  37. What have we achieved? • Developments • GamCare Salford • Online counselling • Gambling & Debt • Gambling in prisons

  38. What have we achieved? • Developments • Gambling in the Chinese community • Counselling for clients with hearing impairments • Training/certification for all GamCare staff

  39. What have we achieved? • GamCare International • GamCare Ireland • Training in Malta • Consultancy/training in Antigua

  40. What could we be doing? • Improving and extending FrontLine Services to meet demand • Extending counselling to the rest of GB • Evaluating and accrediting our services • Expanding online counselling

  41. What could we be doing? • Developing and piloting prevention work with young people - with partners old and new • Working with communities with special needs • - Turkish community • - Prisons • - Students • Developing coherent partnerships with Partners, NHS, Money Advice Trust etc etc across the country

  42. All this is possible • Now • Within funding proposed to be raised • By prioritising action • By working together