There are now signs that, after decades of phenomenal growth, the era of unrestrained gambling liberalisation may be coming to an end. However, the power of the Gambling Establishment is formidable, and it will certainly fight back. Drawing on research and policy examples from around the world, the book provides a unified understanding of the dangerousness of modern commercialised gambling, how its expansion has been deliberately or inadvertently supported, and how the backlash is now occurring.
The term Gambling Establishment is defined to include the industry which sells gambling, governments which support it, and a wider network of organisations and individuals who have subscribed to the ‘responsible gambling’ Establishment discourse. Topics covered include the psychology of how gambling is now being advertised and promoted and the way it is designed to deceive gamblers about their chances of winning; the increased exposure of young people to gambling and the alignment of gambling with sport; understanding the experience of gambling addiction; the various public health harms of gambling at individual, family, community and societal levels; and how evidence has been used to resist change. The book’s final chapter offers the author’s manifesto for policy change, designed with Britain particularly in mind but likely to have relevance elsewhere.
With detailed examples given of the ways a number of countries are responding to these threats to their citizens’ health, this book will be of global interest for academics, researchers, policymakers and service providers in the field of gambling or other addictions specifically, and public health and social policy generally.