The UK’s Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) has launched a research project investigating product-based harm minimisation controls, alongside a study on problem gambling in licensed bingo premises.

The product-based harm minimisation research will be conducted by Sophro and aims to provide an authoritative overview on the performance of harm minimisation controls on gambling devices, offering a critical examination of relevant policy issues.

It has been launched following a similar review, published by the RGT in June 2014, focusing on operator-based approaches to harm minimisation. It will acknowledge the UK Gambling Commission’s current licensing conditions and codes of practice, with the final report to be published in autumn this year.

“The Responsible Gambling Trust is committed to minimising gambling-related harm and we hope that this international evidence review of product-based harm minimisation will prove to be as authoritative and as helpful as the review into operator-based harm minimisation that RGT commissioned with the same researchers and published in June 2014,” RGT chief executive Marc Etches said.

The RGT has also commissioned Ipsos Mori to conduct a separate study into the nature and extent of problem gambling behaviour in licensed bingo halls in the UK.

The trust launched a tender in June last year to find researchers able to complete a review of existing evidence, develop a method of identifying problem gambling behaviour in licensed premises, and collect data on instances of such behaviour.

Ultimately a partnership between Ipsos Mori’s Social Research Institute and independent social researcher Heather Wardle were selected to undertake the project.

“Ipsos Mori has been selected as the lead researcher on this project after a thorough and open competition involving a number of well-qualified applicants,” Etches said. “The Responsible Gambling Trust’s aim is to minimise gambling-related harm and I am hopeful that this project will generate valuable data and grow the knowledge-base to allow the industry to target tailored interventions to problem gamblers.

“I am grateful to the Bingo Association for ensuring that bingo operators will grant researchers access to their clubs and the data they hold.”

“We are very pleased to be working with the Responsible Gambling Trust and the Bingo Association on this important study,” Ipsos Mori research director Gary Welch said. “The extensive research programme we are undertaking will go further than previous studies to establish a clear understanding of the industry and the behaviours and motivations of people that play bingo across the country.”

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