International experts to research gaming machines impact

The UK Gambling Commission has assembled an international panel of experts as part of its ongoing research into the impact of high-stake high prize gaming machines on problem gamblers, as it prepares to report back to the Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe by the end of June 2009.

The panel members were confirmed earlier this month and are considering a number of questions on the British regulatory approach to gaming machines in order to help the Commission develop a research program focused on minimizing their harm to UK gamblers.

The Commission’s efforts are in response to a request by Sutcliffe for it to prioritize research into the impact of high-stake high-prize gaming machines, such as the Fixed Odds Betting terminals found in casinos and betting shops, on problem gamblers. “We are very pleased to have assembled this group of experts with such an extensive knowledge of the issues surrounding gambling and problem gambling,” said Matthew Hill, Director of Research, Strategy and Analysis at the Gambling Commission.

“The panel will advise the Commission on further research focused on gaming machine regulation and the evaluation of potential harm minimization measures. They will also help us to evaluate the findings of any other machines research.”

The expert panel will be headed by Dr Jonathan Parke from the University of Salford and includes health and psychology professors from the Universities of Auckland, Sydney and Adelaide, the communication manager of Norsk Tipping and the President of Gemini Research, amongst others.