The UK’s National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has announced and ambitious new project, designed to measure the economic and societal costs of gambling harm. The project will form part of the evidence base for the ongoing review of the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act and is funded from a regulatory settlement approved by the Gambling Commission.
NIESR say they will provide a complete measurement of the economic effects of gambling activity, potentially laying the foundations for a large longitudinal study to establish the complex connections between gambling, household finances and the national economy. The research team will be assisted by an Advisory Board of 10 academic economists and health experts and will conclude with a report published this coming summer.
Professor Adrian Pabst, NIESR’s Deputy Director and Research Lead on the project, said: “Gambling is an important part of the UK’s economic and social landscape, but we do not have a sufficiently accurate understanding of its benefits and costs, notably the economic costs of gambling-related harm. We welcome this opportunity to conduct a rigorous assessment and help build an impartial evidence base. Changes to the gambling legislation and the regulatory framework should be driven by independent research, especially at a time when legislators and policymakers face a tension between demands to grow the industry and calls to minimise harm.”
The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) is Britain’s longest established independent research institute, founded in 1938 by social and economic reformers including John Maynard Keynes and William Beveridge. It is politically independent and receives no core funding from Government or other sources. Its aim is to improve the public’s understanding of the way that economic and social forces impact on their lives, and the ways in which policy can bring about change.