The Gambling Commission has approved an £800k ($1m) settlement for a new regional public health programme to reduce gambling harms in Yorkshire and the Humber.
It aims to educate people on the potential risks of gambling and provide access to support and treatment for individuals and their families suffering from gambling-related problems.
The Commission hopes this programme will improve the identification of issues via workplace training initiatives, teach gamblers self-management techniques, direct them to support facilities and ultimately protect high risk and vulnerable groups from gambling-related harm.
“We welcome this ambitious project across Yorkshire and Humber,” said Tim Miller, the Gambling Commission’s Executive Director. “A well-planned, cohesive public health approach to tackling gambling harms is exactly what the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms was designed to stimulate.
“We are pleased to be able to approve the funding, which was agreed through regulatory settlements, as part of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.”
The programme will last for three years and be led by Public Health directors in the region, who will oversee local efforts to work with individuals and communities to raise awareness and reduce the stigma of problem gambling.
Greg Fell, Chairman of the Yorkshire & Humber harmful gambling working group, said: “We aim to deliver a gold standard programme that can be replicated across the UK. We are in the unique position of having a diverse population across city, town, rural and coastal environments, which offers the potential for an effective activity blueprint that could be used by other regions.
“We know high deprivation areas and low-income workers are disproportionately negatively affected by gambling, so this will be our focus.”
This announcement comes off the back of an investigation by the Parliamentary All-Party Betting & Gaming Group into the Gambling Commission’s competence and effectiveness.