Moving on from responsible gambling: a new discourse is needed to prevent and minimise harm from gambling

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OBJECTIVES: To address the current status of responsible gambling (RG) as the dominant discourse for reducing gambling harm. STUDY DESIGN: The article is a narrative review of relevant literature analysed discursively. METHODS: We identified significant texts describing the discourse of RG and analysed these to extract major characteristics and themes of the discourse. These were then subjected to a critique, using the public health discourses as an alternative system for addressing gambling harm. RESULTS: The discourse of RG is inadequate for preventing or minimising gambling harm. A public health-focused approach to prevent and minimise gambling harm is likely to be far more effective but will be opposed by vested interests. CONCLUSIONS: It is timely to consider abandoning the discourse of RG. This discourse has been discredited because of its complicity with vested interests and a lack of evidence to demonstrate its efficacy in preventing or reducing harm. A public health response to the prevention of gambling harm is feasible and practical and can and should be further developed and implemented rapidly.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalPublic Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 30 Apr 2020


  • gambling
  • harm prevention
  • Harm minimisation

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