Article

Open letter from UK based academic scientists to the secretaries of state for digital, culture, media and sport and for health and social care regarding the need for independent funding for the prevention and treatment of gambling harms

Citation

Wardle H, Banks J, Bebbington P, Blank L, Bowden Jones OBE H, Bramley S, Bunn C, Casey E, Cassidy R, Chamberlain SR, Close J, Critchlow N, Dobbie F, Hunt K & Purves R (2020) Open letter from UK based academic scientists to the secretaries of state for digital, culture, media and sport and for health and social care regarding the need for independent funding for the prevention and treatment of gambling harms. BMJ, 370, Art. No.: m2613. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m2613

Abstract
First paragraph: Dear secretaries of state, As leading academic scientists studying gambling behaviours and its harms, we are writing to express our concern about the continuing support shown for the voluntary system of funding treatment, prevention and research in Great Britain. We feel compelled to write to you following the Betting and Gaming Council’s (BGC) recent announcement (17 June 2020) that five of its operators will now allocate the long awaited increase in funding for prevention and treatment, first promised on 2 August 2019, to GambleAware rather than the charity Action Against Gambling Harms. Irrespective of which organisation funds are given to, the BGC’s announcement exemplifies the longstanding weakness of a funding system that allows the gambling industry to regulate the availability and distribution of vital funds to address gambling harms across our communities. As we outline below, the continuance of this arrangement produces several negative effects that undermine the collective effort to reduce harms from gambling. It is also our belief that funds for research into gambling harms and their reduction should primarily be distributed through recognised independent organisations, such as UK Research and Innovation. We hereby urge you, as the secretaries of state with responsibilities for addressing gambling harms, to implement a statutory levy to fund effective prevention and treatment of gambling harms that is free both from industry influence and the perception of industry influence...... [Read more in the article]

Keywords
Gambling; Betting; Gambling Policy; Gambling Regulation

Notes
Additional co-authors: Carolyn Downs, Simon Dymond, Emanuele Fino, Elizabeth Goyder, Cindy Gray, Mark Griffiths, Peter Grindrod, Lee Hogan, Alice Hoon, Richard James, Bev John, Jill Manthorpe, Jim McCambridge, David McDaid, Martin McKee, Sally McManus, Antony Moss, Caroline Norrie, David J Nutt, Jim Orford, Rob Pryce, Gerda Reith, Amanda Roberts, Emmett Roberts, Gareth Roderique-Davies, Jim Rogers, Robert D Rogers, Stephen Sharman, John Strang, Richard Tunney, John Turner, Robert West, David Zendle

Journal
BMJ: Volume 370

StatusPublished
Publication date31/07/2020
Publication date online31/07/2020
Date accepted by journal30/06/2020
URLhttp://hdl.handle.net/1893/31395
PublisherBMJ
ISSN0959-8138
eISSN1756-1833