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University research underpins gambling consultation

Research by Leeds Beckett’s School of Events, Tourism & Hospitality Management is helping to address gambling issues in the city.

gambling addiction

The study was led by Dr Alexandra Kenyon with Dr Neil Ormerod and Professor David Parsons, working closely with Dr Heather Wardle, a nationally renowned expert on the gambling industry.

Their findings suggested about 40,000 people in Leeds were “at risk of harm” from gambling, including 10,000 identified as “problem gamblers”.

Now, Leeds City Council has launched a public consultation on its new gambling policy, which has been updated to reflect findings from the university’s research.

Dr Kenyon said: “The public consultation on new gambling policy demonstrates the council’s continued dedication to deliver services and support for individuals and their families that are affected by gambling.

“The council is already making excellent progress in tackling issues identified in the research, specifically training frontline staff.”

The local authority had commissioned the research in order to understand the extent of problem gambling in the city, identify which groups are most vulnerable and assess the availability of specialist support to those affected.

Dr Ormerod said: “Our research identified a number of groups considered especially vulnerable to problem gambling, including young people, minority ethnic groups, unemployed people, homeless people and those with mental health problems.

“In order to protect these groups, proposed changes have been made to the risk assessments that have to be completed when operators apply to Leeds City Council for a gambling licence for a premises, such as the proximity of the premises to schools, areas of high deprivation and places blighted by problems of anti-social behaviour.”

The consultation runs until 5 August. For a copy of the Leeds City Council Gambling in Leeds Report click here.

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