News

The ALLIANCE Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm programme 2021 review

Section: People and NetworksType: News Item Date Published: 18th February 2022

Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm has engaged with people with lived experience of gambling harm to establish core messages and priorities.

The ALLIANCE Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm programme aims to put the voice of people with lived experience of gambling harm at the heart of action to reduce those harms.

Over the course of last year the programme continued to engage with the Lived Experience Forum, to identify policy priorities and inform the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms (this link will take you away from our website). The Lived Experience Forum determined five key areas for action including challenging the normalisation of gambling and introducing person-centred treatment and support options, which have shaped the programme’s key priorities.

Throughout the year, the Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm programme focussed on building relationships with wider external stakeholders to reduce gambling harms in Scotland. This includes members from grassroots organisations with a specific focus on reducing gambling harm, as well as other third sector organisations who have an interest in or work directly with people affected by gambling harm.

Through extensive research, we found that certain demographic groups may be at increased risk of experiencing gambling harm and the associated stigma. In June we held a roundtable event in partnership with the Scottish Women’s Convention to create a space for women to discuss their experiences of gambling harm. This highlighted the shame and stigma associated with women and the issue of gambling, as well as women’s different experiences which included how their lives had been affected by close family members who gambled, or their observations as a worker within the gambling industry.

In September 2021, the ScotRGH team attended the Glasgow Gambling Summit where Sara Redmond, now Chief Officer – Development at the ALLIANCE, highlighted our engagement work undertaken in Greater Glasgow, and discussed our ‘Three Horizons’ infographic and core priorities for the programme to a range of policymakers and wider stakeholders.

Through conducting an Equalities Impact Assessment it was found that older people may be at increased risk of experiencing gambling harm. The Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm team have undertaken outreach work with different organisations who work directly with older people. This highlighted several different issues associated with gambling which included financial fraud and abuse or exploitation of older people arising because of the gambling issues or debts of others.

Over the course of the year, the Scotland Reducing Gambling Harm programme commissioned work with Young Scot and Fast Forward to gain an understanding of young people’s views on gambling and gaming. This survey has now closed with findings in the process of being analysed which will be published in early 2022. We hope this will strengthen the case for the Scottish Government to commission a full Youth Commission into Gambling Harms.

Another key milestone for the programme is the establishment of our PhD Scholarship (this link will take you away from our website) which commenced in 2021 and is exploring the role of lived experience of gambling harms from seldom heard groups.

Reports of other ALLIANCE programme activities during 2021 can be found in our News section.

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