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Gambling: RCGP is criticised for holding conference with organisation dependent on industry funding

BMJ 2023; 381 doi: (Published 31 May 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p1248

Linked Opinion

Gambleaware: what does “independence” from industry really mean?

  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. Kent

Doctors have criticised the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) for holding a conference about gambling harms in partnership with an organisation dependent on funding from the gambling industry.

The conference, “Gambling and its Associated Harms: Identification, Management and Challenging Stigma,” was held jointly with the charity GambleAware on 23 May.1

GambleAware is described as an independent, grant making charity commissioning prevention and treatment services in England, Scotland, and Wales, in partnership with organisations and agencies including the NHS. It is funded by a voluntary levy on gambling operators, who are asked to donate a minimum of 0.1% of their annual gross gambling yield. In the year from 1 April 2022 to 31 March 2023 GambleAware received funding totalling more than £46m from gambling operators.

Jenny Blyth, a London GP and research fellow looking at public health approaches to gambling harms, wrote to the RCGP to raise concerns about the college’s partnership with GambleAware. “It is a highly problematic collaboration and a highly problematic conference where the majority of speakers are either GambleAware staff or from GambleAware funded projects,” she said.

She felt particularly concerned that one …

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