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.
- harm prevention
- Harm minimisation