UK Gambling commission and NHS Wales back improved problem-gambling services

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has teamed up with a range of organisations across Wales with a view to provide and improve support to those who are susceptible to gambling-related harms.

At the meeting in Cardiff,  30 representatives took part in a round table discussion, addressing the provision of treatment and prevention services, public health messaging, gambling venues and extending research.

Attendees included those from organisations including local authorities, treatment bodies, sporting bodies as well as NHS Wales, the Welsh Government, and industry charity GambleAware.

The roundtable discussion was chaired by Chief Medical Officer for Wales Dr Frank Atherton and Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur.

McArthur commented: “Gambling related harm is a complex and wide-ranging problem and consequently requires a joined-up approach from a number of different organisations.

“It’s encouraging to see so many different groups coming together today to help coordinate approaches to tackling harm.

“In our role as regulator we’ll continue to enforce standards we expect from gambling businesses – which includes stepping in when they spot gambling related harm – and we’ll continue to look for ways to make gambling safer but we can’t do this alone.”

Latest Commission figures from 2016 estimate that around 20,000 people in Wales are problem gamblers, with approximately 84,000 at risk of developing a problem. The figures have shown, however, a fall in the numbers of those at low or moderate risk of developing gambling-related problems.

The meeting between industry stakeholders aims to reduce these numbers further, and improve the services available.

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