Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:

Opinion

How we can solve the crisis in UK gambling policy

BMJ 2024; 384 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.q16 (Published 04 January 2024) Cite this as: BMJ 2024;384:q16

Rapid Response:

Re: How we can solve the crisis in UK gambling policy

Dear Editor,

May CI van Schalkwyk and Rebecca Cassidy [BMJ 4th January 2024] are right to make the case for a new Gambling Act founded on public health principles.

All members of society have the right to live without unnecessary and preventable risk to health and safety from gambling products and industry practices, whether on the high street or online. Equally, any person who gambles should be safe from preventable harm regardless of their ability to protect themselves.

As the article highlighted, the gambling industry currently influence and fund gambling harm research, policy, treatment and education ensuring an ongoing dependency on an industry which essentially exists to make a profit from harm.

Instead of focussing on the behaviour and treatment of individuals, we need a bold shift in policy that takes direction from our successful approach to tackling tobacco harm – independent research and oversight coupled with tighter regulation of both the gambling industry and its products, aimed at preventing harm from ever happening.

Yours,
Greg Fell, President of the Association of Directors of Public Health
Alice Wiseman, Vice President of the Association of Directors of Public Health

Competing interests: As well as being President of the Association of Directors of Public Health, Greg Fell is Director of Public Health, Sheffield City Council. As well as being Vice President of the Association of Directors of Public Health, Alice Wiseman is Director of Public Health, Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council.

08 January 2024
Greg Fell
President, The Association of Directors of Public Health
Alice Wiseman, Vice President, The Association of Directors of Public Health
President, The Association of Directors of Public Health
The Association of Directors of Public Health (UK) Hamilton House 1 Temple Avenue London EC4Y 0HA