Harm minimisation: Gambling

Abstract

The concept of harm-minimization was initially applied in response to ancillary harms resulting from unhealthy procedures associated with illicit drug use, specifically hepatitis C and HIV viral infections. Extending the principle and strategies of harm minimization to the field of gambling is fraught with potential problems unless important fundamental differences are taken into consideration when formulating policies and procedures. Defined strategies with specific targets must be formulated, evaluated and monitored following implementation. This chapter aims to outline the key elements of harm minimization for gambling in an effort to guide regulators, policy-makers, industry operators and community groups, in designing and implementing successful public health initiatives. Various harm-minimization strategies and the empirical evidence for their effectiveness across international jurisdictions are outlined.

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