Safer by design: Building a collaborative, integrated and evidence-based framework to inform the regulation and mitigation of gambling product risk
Keywords:gambling, product design, product safety, harm reduction, regulation
Evidence suggests that harms may result from gambling participation as a result of a complex interaction between individual differences among consumers, environmental factors, and the characteristics of the gambling product. The latter of these factors, broadly referred to in this paper as product risk, has received increased policy attention in recent years. Product-focussed approaches to harm reduction, however, are under-developed relative to other forms of player protection and likely reflects the limitations of existing evidence and relative complexity of the topic. In this position paper, we define and explain the concept of product risk and consider what is currently known regarding the link between gambling products and harm. The paper describes the present barriers to develop effective product risk regulation and harm mitigation strategies. These include the competing interests of stakeholders, limited collaboration and information sharing, clear roles, responsibilities and leadership and a lack of integrated evidence-informed approaches. In response to these challenges, we propose adopting a framework comprised of a series of principles to progress this contested area of policy. The framework encourages better collaboration and communication between stakeholders; the accelerated production of valid and reliable evidence; a strategic alignment of stakeholder activity; and, more effective and efficient approaches to assessing and mitigating product risk.
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