As a product of the world’s most exciting and dynamic economy, legalized gambling is one of Canada’s most important and dynamic industries. It is a multi-billion dollar industry that generates huge tax revenues for the nation. At the same time, gambling is a troubling industry that exacts a heavy toll on its victims. Now, an organization based in Toronto is trying to change the conversation about gambling.
The Canadian government is considering adopting a comprehensive approach to addressing gambling-related harm that would include a national strategy to reduce problem gambling, a national public awareness campaign, and a national action plan for prevention. This latest plan from GambleAware is the latest in a long line of gambling-related harm prevention plans put forward by the government. Each of these plans has been highly controversial, and is often met with intense opposition from the gambling industry. The current plan is highlighted as part of the government’s desire to improve the economy and society for all Canadians.
GambleAware is a Canadian-based nonprofit organization that works to prevent gambling-related harm among teens. They have released their five year plan, which will begin in November this year and will focus on tailoring gambling awareness and education programs used by local community organizations to the Canadian context.
The UK gambling industry is set to undergo sweeping changes in the coming months as the government has ordered a special review of the archaic Gambling Act 2005. The investigation has not been handed over to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) as the gaming regulator has been criticised for failing to meet its obligations.
The Department of Digital Affairs, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has been commissioned to conduct a study, which will begin in 2020. The DCMS is expected to make significant changes that will better protect gamblers in the UK and keep them safe from the harms of gambling.
GambleAware’s five-year plan
While the UK gambling industry waits for the results of this investigation, GambleAware is taking steps to work more efficiently and combat the growing problem of gambling in the UK market. GambleAware is one of the UK’s leading organisations raising awareness of gambling.
GambleAware is working with the UKGC to implement the national strategy to reduce gambling risks in the UK. The organisation recently unveiled its five-year plan to reduce gambling-related harm in the UK. As part of the five-year plan, GambleAware will work with the UKGC and licensed operators to ensure that their responsible gambling measures remain effective and that problem gamblers can withdraw at any time by using self-exclusion measures.
Even if a problem player has refused to play at a particular online casino, there are always new casinos willing to accept Canadian players. GambleAware also announced a new organizational strategy that relies on a holistic approach to have a greater impact on the gambling market.
Key objectives to focus on
The key objectives published by GambleAware are directly related to the process of critical thinking and response to gambling problems. The first objective is to increase awareness and understanding of gambling addiction among gamblers and stakeholders in the country.
A powerful push from GambleAware will help spread the message that prevention is better than cure. Over the past five years, the number of gambling problems in the UK has increased dramatically and many opponents of gambling say that if the gambling problem is not successfully addressed, gambling addiction could become one of the biggest epidemics in the UK medical sector in the future.
The UK government and gaming regulator have taken significant steps to tackle problem gambling by banning the use of credit cards on gambling sites, lowering the minimum bet on a Fixed Odds Betting Terminal (FOBT) to £1 and forcing many UK banks to offer their customers the option of no longer betting on gambling sites.
GambleAware believes that British gamblers should be made more aware of the ease with which they can succumb to gambling addiction. Information will also be disseminated over the next five years to help gamblers recognise the signs of a problematic addiction and to provide them with tools to cope with the urge and prevent them from becoming addicted to gambling.
These GambleAware measures also address suicides caused by gambling. People with gambling problems are encouraged to seek help as soon as possible.
GambleAware’s second main objective is to provide gamblers in the UK with better access to gambling-related services. One way to achieve this is to improve the effectiveness of the National Gambling Treatment Service. GambleAware will be able to do this with additional funding expected from licensed gambling operators committed to reducing problem gambling in the UK.
GambleAware will be working with an extensive network of organisations and charities across the country, using this network of over 40 providers to collaborate and provide much needed help to struggling gamblers. These network providers include anti-gay organizations, youth education clubs, women’s prevention campaigns, religious leaders, debt counselors, and research programs.
GambleAware will work with these network providers to provide them with specialized training so that they can provide the valuable information and assistance that problem gamblers need. GambleAware will require significant financial resources to implement these initiatives, but the Company is confident that sufficient funds will be available through long-term financial commitments from licensed gaming operators.
Zoe Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, says a key initiative of the five-year plan is to make the National Gambling Treatment Service more effective and accessible. The aim is to work with the National Health Service (NHS) to offer a range of preventative interventions and specialist treatment services.
Ms. Osmond stated that they will work to make this all happen in the year 2026 and lay the groundwork to continue these initiatives beyond the five-year plan.The last few years have seen a surge in the number of people trying their luck in the online gambling industry. This is not a new phenomenon, as American Indians were apparently playing a form of gambling called “chips” as far back as 1250. But while the number of people playing online casinos has grown steadily in recent years, so too has the number of people who have been harmed by the problem. Gamblers have lost all of their savings, and some have even lost their homes as a result of an addiction to gambling.. Read more about gambleaware conference 2019 and let us know what you think.
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