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The negative impact of gambling

Ever stopped to wonder the negative impact gambling is having on individuals, families and societies. Too often the focus is only on problem gamblers, however, a recent shift is now considering the wider impacts and gambling has been identified as a public health problem.  

Recently Welsh Governments’ Health Minister, Vaughan Gething, published his written statement: Tackling gambling-related harm in Wales and highlighted “in Wales, we continue to take an integrated and collaborative approach to problem gambling policy development, in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and as recommended in the joint report by Public Health Wales and Bangor University.”  

A report last year by Bangor University and Public Health Wales’ featured in the Health Ministers recent statement on this important issue. In January 2019, led by Prof Robert Rogers, School of Psychology, the report titled “Gambling as a public health issues in Wales” put forward recommendations for policy change in order to tackle this growing challenge. Some of these recommendations are now taking shape in Wales as described by the Health Minister. These actions are as follows: 

  • Taking action in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
  • Integrating gambling interventions with other Welsh Government public health policies (e.g. mental health) 
  • Increasing public awareness
  • Increasing professional awareness and training 

To complement the report, the team also published an interactive map which explore how social, health and economic risk factors for gambling harms are likely distributed across Wales. It does not show where problem gambling occurs.  

Publication date: 4 February 2020