Haringey leads the way on tackling gambling harms
The lead taken by Haringey Council to tackle the significant harm caused by gambling was highlighted at a major summit in the borough this week.
An estimated 4,000 Haringey residents experience problem gambling directly, with six times that number indirectly impacted, including families, workplaces and the wider community.
The gathering was opened by Haringey Council Leader Cllr Peray Ahmet and chaired by Cllr Lucia das Neves, Cabinet Member for Health, Social Care and Wellbeing.
Cllr Lucia das Neves said:
We know gambling and betting shops prey on our most vulnerable residents.
I am pleased and proud that our public health team is tackling gambling harm head on, training professionals and the community in the signs and how to support people.
Workshops in schools are also underway and a campaign to raise awareness amongst our residents will follow.
The concentration of betting shops in our borough’s high streets is more than six times higher than the national average.
Local authorities are limited in their powers to stop betting shops opening. There is also huge concern about the explosion of online gambling.
Cllr das Neves added:
We need fundamental change to our laws. Legislation around gambling hasn’t changed since 2005 – we know that the world is a very different place now.
While we continue to wait for the government White Paper to be delivered, councils like Haringey are getting on with the job of protecting our residents.
The summit was a good opportunity to bring together those with a lived experience of gambling addiction and health experts to discuss the challenges we face, as well as share insights and experience on how we might tackle gambling-related problems.
The summit showcased the partnership work of the council, NHS and voluntary sector to tackle gambling harms in the borough.
It brought together public health experts, researchers, policy makers and others to explore the scale of the issue, as well as education, prevention and treatment.
Organised by Haringey Council, the hybrid event featured a keynote speech from Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE, a world expert in addiction psychiatry.
Attendees at Alexandra Palace and online also heard from Tony Kelly, founder of charity Red Card and a lived experience expert who is delivering workshops in secondary schools across Haringey.
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