For betting shops and payday lenders, limits to the proliferation of these types of businesses in a local area (to prevent saturation and clustering in the most deprived areas for example), can be explored through the planning or licensing system. For example, Islington Council has adopted a Supplementary Planning Document on the location and concentration of uses, focusing on hot food takeaways, betting shops and payday loan shops. 5

Making independent debt advice and support easily accessible to those who need it through signposting is another recommended approach for reducing gambling-related harm. 6

Geofutures has worked with the Local Government Association (LGA), Manchester City Council and Westminster Council to develop a gambling-related harm risk index. This entails the creation of local risk indices showing areas with greater concentrations of people who are more likely to be vulnerable to gambling-related harm. 7  This model can be used by other areas to identify locations where there is a case to limit new gambling venues and/or focus gambling-related support services.

Liverpool Public Health Observatory have outlined a comprehensive approach to tackle problem gambling, through a co-ordinated response from local and national government, the NHS, and the gambling industry, as well as commissioners and those who provide support services. 8

References

  1. Islington Council, “Location and concentration of uses Supplementary Planning Document,” 2016
  2. Royal Society for Public Health, “Health on the high street,” 2015
  3. H. Wardle, G. Astbury and M. Thurstain-Goodwin, “Exploring area-based vulnerability to gambling-related harm: Developing the gambling-related harm risk index,” Geofutures, 2016
  4. Liverpool Public Health Observatory, “Fixed Odds Betting Terminal Use and problem gambling across the Liverpool City Region. Observatory report series No, 95,” 2014
  5. Islington Council, “Location and concentration of uses Supplementary Planning Document,” 2016
  6. Royal Society for Public Health, “Health on the high street,” 2015
  7. H. Wardle, G. Astbury and M. Thurstain-Goodwin, “Exploring area-based vulnerability to gambling-related harm: Developing the gambling-related harm risk index,” Geofutures, 2016
  8. Liverpool Public Health Observatory, “Fixed Odds Betting Terminal Use and problem gambling across the Liverpool City Region. Observatory report series No, 95,” 2014