Summary: Overall, the outcomes presented in this report show progress has been made in reducing gambling harm and inequalities in New Zealand. However, since approximately 2012 the downward movement in harm levels has plateaued. A range of research-based explanations for these outcomes has been identified and presented. Research has shown that the plateauing in harm reduction is not unique to New Zealand.
Progress has also been made across all of the 11 objectives set out in the Ministry’s integrated Strategy in a number of the areas, although challenges to further progress have been identified. These results imply that the current harm reduction activities should be reviewed and reinvigorated if the aim is to further reduce levels of gambling harm and inequities.
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Reference: Ministry of Health. (2018). Progress on Gambling harm reduction 2010 to 2017: Outcomes report – New Zealand strategy to prevent and minimise gambling harm. Wellington: Ministry of Health.
Harms related to gambling have been found not only to affect problem gamblers, but also to occur amongst low- and moderate-risk gamblers. This has resulted in calls for a public health approach to address a possible ‘prevention paradox’ in gambling related harm. The aim of this study was to evaluate the systematic review evidence base on the effects of prevention and harm reduction interventions on gambling behaviours, and gambling related harm. We also aimed to examine differential effects of interventions across socio-demographic groups. Access full article
- First umbrella review evaluating the effectives of prevention and harm reduction interventions on gambling behaviour.
- Found evidence of 10 reviews reporting 55 unique primary studies.
- Evidence relates mostly to pre-commitment/limit setting, self-exclusion, youth prevention programmes and messages/feedback.
- Review-level evidence is poor, and no review reported differential effects of interventions across sociodemographic groups.
Naoimh McMahon, Katie Thomson, Eileen Kaner, & Clare Bambra. (2019). Addictive Behaviors, 90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2018.11.048.
Problem gambling is now recognised as a major public health issue, with some gambling products posing significant burdens for individuals, families and communities. While gambling has attracted significant political and media attention, governments have been largely unwilling to implement a comprehensive approach to gambling reform. This article reviews the evidence base associated with gambling harm and advocates for a shift in focus away from initiatives that focus on responsible gambling, towards an approach that recognises the mutual obligation between industry, individuals, governments and the general community to engage in practices that prevent the development of gambling-related harm.
Source: Thomas, S. L., & Thomas, S. D. (2015). The big gamble: The need for a comprehensive research approach to understanding the causes and consequences of gambling harm in Australia. Australasian Epidemiologist, 22(1), 39.