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Gambling: call to end industry funded education materials that “stigmatise” people with addictions

BMJ 2023; 381 doi: (Published 06 April 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p766

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  1. Matthew Limb, freelance journalist
  1. London

Campaigners against gambling harms are urging ministers to root out “stigmatising” training materials for health workers that blame individuals for their addiction and shift responsibility away from the gambling industry.

New research has examined gambling related training materials including guides, eLearning courses, and workshops that are either produced or commissioned and funded by charities, such as GambleAware, that are almost entirely funded by voluntary donations from the gambling industry.

Tackling Gambling Stigma, a non-profit organisation, said in a report published today, that most of the materials are of “very poor quality.”1 They often link harm to individual behaviour rather than addictive products, mass advertising, or exploitative industry practices such as inducements, the report said.

The report comes as the government prepares to publish a review of the Gambling Act 2005, which campaigners including parliamentarians and leading NHS experts hope will herald a new public health approach to dealing with gambling harms that will eradicate stigma and remove industry influence from provision of treatment, training, and education.

Alexander Kallman, managing director of Tackling Gambling Stigma, who cowrote the review, said that general practice staff and other health workers were accessing the materials from …

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