8. How can we strengthen and connect the eco-system of support?

The challenge

Problem gambling is an issue that goes beyond the industry – it’s about the entire eco-system. There are countless organisations working with different issues linked to problem gambling - alcoholism, mental health issues, vulnerability, unemployment and more. But often problem gambling remains a hidden part of the puzzle. This table discussed ideas about how to work more closely with community organisations to ensure people get help with gambling problems, regardless of how the issue comes up.

The discussion

The discussion started with early education - to prevent problems before they happen. But for those who are already experiencing harm, there’s an even greater opportunity to engage with community organisations to get people the help they need through many different channels.

The big idea is that there’s no wrong door to seek help. Gamblers should be able to get help from anywhere – because any step towards treatment is positive. In fact some gamblers might feel more comfortable going to other organisations like Citizen’s Advice.

Getting people to some form of help can often begin the process of identifying their gambling problem – so long as those services are aware of the signs of problem gambling. That’s why it’s so important that operators and community organisations work more closely together.

People had many ideas of how to do this, whether through outreach programmes like at Citizen’s Advice or by inviting nurses into shops to work with customers on health issues.

And everyone agreed that the right support is more than just a one-off intervention – it’s working together as a system to deliver sustained interventions and support where and when it’s most needed.

Top solutions

  • Create physical space in shops – and a virtual space online – where community organisations like Citizen’s Advice or even “pop-up nurses” can provide outreach services to customers
  • Back early education in schools and communities to raise awareness of the risks that gambling can pose
  • Launch a campaign to help community organisations learn to spot the signs of problem gambling