Developing comprehensive public health responses to gambling research, policy and practice
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Deakin University, Australia
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom
University of Bath, United Kingdom
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1616
Gambling has quickly emerged as a new global public health threat. While comprehensive public health approaches have been developed in relation to other harmful industries - such as tobacco and alcohol - gambling is still a relatively new area of research, policy and practice in public health. Most research to date has focused on individual and socio-cultural determinants of gambling harm, with little focus on commercial and political determinants. This is problematic, given that new technologies have meant that the gambling industry is able to rapidly develop and promote a range of highly addictive novel products across the globe, including in countries with inadequate regulatory structures to protect populations from harm. This also includes the lack of robust public health mechanisms to protect research, policy and practice from vested interests.

In this interactive, multimedia workshop, participants will learn from leading public health gambling researchers from the United Kingdom and Australia, with global expertise, about the development and implementation of comprehensive public health approaches to gambling harm prevention. The workshop will assume no prior knowledge in gambling. The aim of the workshop is to provide participants with key information (and handouts) about a comprehensive public health approach to gambling harm prevention that can be adapted or applied within their own countries.

Component Parts:
The workshop will cover five key areas: The key pillars of a public health approach to gambling harm prevention;The impact of industry influence on public discourses about gambling, and public health strategies that can be used to reframe these discussions;Research strategies and methods that can be used to map and monitor industry and policy responses;Mechanisms for engaging communities, including young people and those with lived experience, in public health advocacy strategies to respond to gambling industry tactics and convince decisions makers about the need for regulatory reform;Lessons and cautionary tales from over a decade of research and advocacy in gambling harm prevention.

The Key Questions that the Workshop Will Address:
What is a comprehensive public health approach to gambling harm prevention?Why is understanding the commercial and political determinants of gambling harm important in public health prevention strategies?How do the gambling industry (and governments) seek to influence the framing of gambling, and gambling research, policy and practice?What are the range of public health strategies that can be used to respond to the predatory tactics of the gambling industry?How can researchers build global networks to share and support independent public health approaches to gambling harm prevention? This workshop is relevant for public health and health promotion researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and advocates.