24 June 2024
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Financial institutions are implementing innovative approaches that can make a significant difference in reducing gambling-related harm. With the National Gambling Helpline reporting a record number of individuals seeking assistance last year and the Gambling Commission estimating that 1.3 million adults in Great Britain may be affected by gambling-related harm, research from Queen Mary University of London highlights effective initiatives by financial institutions to support those in need.

Financial Institutions’ Innovative Role in Addressing Gambling-Related Harm



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In a recent report from the UK, it has been highlighted that innovative approaches by financial institutions can play a vital role in addressing gambling-related harm. The research conducted by the Multidisciplinary Research Hub on the Prevention of Gambling Harms at Queen Mary University of London sheds light on the significant impact financial institutions can have in supporting individuals affected by problem gambling.

The report comes at a time when the National Gambling Helpline has seen a surge in people seeking help for gambling-related issues, and the Gambling Commission’s data indicates that a substantial number of adults in Great Britain may be experiencing harm due to gambling. This underscores the urgency of finding effective solutions to tackle this growing problem.

Devastating Consequences of Problem Gambling: Financial and Personal

Problem gambling can have severe consequences, not only on an individual’s financial well-being but also on their mental health and overall quality of life. Research shows that a significant minority of the population engages in gambling activities, and for some, it can spiral out of control, leading to financial indebtedness, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and criminal behavior.

Dr. Janelle Jones, a Senior Lecturer in Social Psychology at Queen Mary University of London, emphasizes the personal toll of problem gambling and highlights the unique position of banks in identifying and assisting customers with gambling-related issues. By leveraging transactional and behavioral data, banks can play a crucial role in early intervention and support for individuals struggling with gambling problems.

Financial Institutions’ Role: Support, Guidance, and Prevention

The research suggests that financial institutions can implement various tools and strategies to help customers recognize and address their gambling-related issues. From implementing gambling blocks to conducting spend analysis and engaging in active communication, banks can proactively assist customers in managing their gambling habits and seeking help when needed.

Moreover, the report emphasizes the importance of banks directing affected customers to specialized support agencies like Gamcare, which offers information, advice, and support for those impacted by gambling harm. By actively signposting customers to these resources, banks can fulfill their duty to promote customer well-being and financial stability, in line with the new Consumer Duty imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Industry-Wide Standards and Regulatory Guidelines: A Call for Consistency

While the research highlights the positive impact financial institutions can have in addressing gambling-related harm, it also underscores the need for consistent implementation of support measures across the banking industry. There are currently inconsistencies in how these measures are applied, indicating the necessity for industry-wide standards and regulatory guidelines to ensure a systematic approach to protecting individuals from serious gambling harm.

Professor Julia Hörnle, a Professor of Internet Law at Queen Mary University of London, stresses the importance of clearer guidance and minimum standards to uphold the new Consumer Duty and safeguard individuals experiencing harm from problem gambling. The report recommends that the Financial Conduct Authority issue guidance to clarify the responsibilities of banks in protecting customers from gambling-related harm.

Wrapping Up

In conclusion, the research from Queen Mary University of London highlights the significant role that financial institutions can play in mitigating gambling-related harm and supporting individuals affected by problem gambling. By implementing innovative approaches and adhering to industry-wide standards, banks can contribute to the prevention of serious financial harm associated with gambling, ultimately promoting customer well-being and financial stability. The findings underscore the importance of collaborative efforts between financial institutions, regulators, and specialized support agencies in addressing this pressing societal issue..

FAQ’s

What is the role of financial institutions in addressing gambling-related harm?

Financial institutions can play a vital role in addressing gambling-related harm by implementing tools and strategies to help customers recognize and address their gambling-related issues, such as implementing gambling blocks, conducting spend analysis, and engaging in active communication.

What are the consequences of problem gambling?

Problem gambling can have severe consequences, including financial indebtedness, mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, and an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and criminal behavior.

How can financial institutions help customers with gambling-related issues?

Financial institutions can help customers with gambling-related issues by identifying and assisting customers with gambling-related issues, providing support and guidance, and directing affected customers to specialized support agencies.

Why are industry-wide standards and regulatory guidelines necessary?

Industry-wide standards and regulatory guidelines are necessary to ensure a systematic approach to protecting individuals from serious gambling harm and to provide clearer guidance and minimum standards for financial institutions in fulfilling their duty to promote customer well-being and financial stability.

What is the next step in addressing gambling-related harm?

The next step in addressing gambling-related harm is for financial institutions, regulators, and specialized support agencies to collaborate and implement innovative approaches to prevent serious financial harm associated with gambling and to promote customer well-being and financial stability.

Links to additional Resources:

1. www.qmul.ac.uk 2. www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk 3. www.nationalgamblinghelpline.org.uk

Related Wikipedia Articles

Topics: National Gambling Helpline, Gambling Commission, Queen Mary University of London

Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling
The Massachusetts Council on Gaming and Health is a private, non-profit health agency that was founded in 1983. It provides information, promotes public awareness, and offers community education, professional training, advocacy and referral services for problem gamblers, their loved ones, and the greater community.
Read more: Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling

Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission is an executive, non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for regulating gambling and supervising gaming law in Great Britain. Its remit covers arcades, betting, bingo, casinos, slot machines and lotteries, as well as remote gambling, but not spread betting. Free prize competitions...
Read more: Gambling Commission

Queen Mary University of London
Queen Mary University of London (QMUL, or informally QM, and formerly Queen Mary and Westfield College) is a public research university in Mile End, East London, England. It is a member institution of the federal University of London. Today, Queen Mary has six campuses across East and Central London in...
Read more: Queen Mary University of London

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