The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published a new framework to better understand the impact of gambling on children and young people.

As part of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, the report has been developed by Ipsos MORI in collaboration with the UKGC, Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and GambleAware.

It aims to present a framework to better understand the ways that harms from gambling can impact upon the health, relationships and finances of young people, and builds on earlier work to develop a framework for gambling harms among adults.

“Gaining a better understanding of the impact of gambling on children and young people is a key priority for the Commission,” said UKGC programme director for safer gambling Helen Rhodes. “Childhood and adolescence is a key stage of development and any harms experienced at this stage in life can be detrimental to the future development, confidence and potential of young people.

“This newly released framework will provide critical insight into the range of harms that young people in Britain can experience and will help greatly in concentrating the National Strategy’s prevention and education initiatives where they will have the most impact.

“This will take time and the framework will evolve as we move into the next phase of this work. We encourage our partners in delivering the National Strategy, including public health officials and academics to feed back to us as we move into the next phase of work.”

The framework has been designed to cover the broad spectrum of harms that can impact young people, with the next phase of work set to test survey questions for measuring gambling harms.

The questions have been included in Ipsos MORI’s Young Person’s Omnibus survey, with the data analysed to explore which questions are most and least effective for further monitoring.

The launch of the new framework comes a week after the UKGC launched the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

“This framework has been developed with professionals, young people and experts in gambling in a series of workshops, interviews and focus groups,” said Ipsos MORI lead researcher Margaret Blake. “The initial questions cover just some of the harms in the framework and are intended to explore the entire range of harms that can be experienced from gambling, even where it would not be classified as problem gambling.

“This work is just a starting point and we anticipate that the framework and measures will develop in the future.”

GambleAware director of research and evaluation, Clare Wyllie, added: “This initial framework is designed to help guide and focus research and action to reduce gambling harms in children and young people. We encourage other researchers to build further evidence to develop the framework, so together we can move faster and go further to reduce gambling harms.”

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