UK based gambling charity GamCare has announced a major new initiative to dig deeper into the issue of problem gambling among UK gamblers.
The charity is set to look into potential indicators of vulnerability in an attempt to provide more insight into the issue. GamCare will be working with City University and business consultants Ignition House in a bid to understand online gambling behaviour more clearly.
The project will set out to identify potential indicators of vulnerability by setting up an initial small qualitative study made up of 20 participants, all of whom have gambled online at some point during the last six months. This study is then set to be followed by a larger quantitative survey that will attempt to develop a broader picture of the problem gambling situation in the UK.
In announcing the research in a statement, GamCare emphasised that it will be extremely valuable and has the potential to have a positive impact on the wider gambling community:
“This research aims to make online gambling significantly safer, with the vision of developing knowledge and interventions that protect gamblers by moving them away from harm and towards protection in digital gambling environments.”
For the first part of the research, GamCare are currently looking for participants. This will involve a one-hour, one-to-one interview, conducted by a researcher through a phone or video call in early 2021. Participants will be asked details about their experiences, their habits, behaviours and their feelings about gambling online. Participation will be open to people who have gambled during the last six months.
The new research is the latest initiative in a series of developments this autumn. Back in September, GamCare launched what it described as a ‘toolkit’ for UK financial institutions, gambling businesses and debt advice agencies that was aimed at giving those working in the finance and debt advice sectors the tools they needed to identify and then support customers who are experiencing gambling-related harms.
UK gambling has been under particular scrutiny in recent months, following a number of relatively high profile episodes that have brought negative publicity to the industry. As a result, the UK regulator, the UK Gambling Commission, has been stepping up its enforcement actions, and many leading gambling operators have been publicly committing themselves to responsible gambling initiatives and policies.