Gambling Policy Programme improves prevention and reduction of harm
The Gambling Policy Programme, prepared under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, sets guidelines for the prevention and reduction of harm caused by gambling up to 2030. It includes objectives and measures to reduce harm resulting from gambling. The measures are directed at guiding the provision of gambling services in a uniform manner, ensuring a gambling system that prevents harm, promoting wellbeing, health and safety, and developing services.
The Programme is implemented in cooperation with actors involved in the guidance of gambling activities and in the prevention and reduction of related harm. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has appointed a steering group to plan and launch the implementation of the Programme.
Gambling system that prevents harm effectively and services that function well
The Gambling Policy Programmes aims to ensure uniform and effective guidance of the gambling monopoly system to prevent harm by strengthening cooperation among authorities at different levels and by reviewing the system’s guidance structure. The gambling system will be developed by reinforcing the knowledge base, by deploying the opportunities built in the system to prevent harm and by curtailing access to gambling services outside the system. These measures aim to safeguard the operation of the monopoly system in a changing environment.
The quality and availability of services will be improved and healthcare and social welfare services will be better equipped to identify gambling problems and to raise the issue with clients. The Programme will reduce the stigma of gambling problems and influence attitudes towards gambling. In addition, it will prevent and reduce self-destructive behaviour associated with gambling disorders and help people avoid becoming over-indebted.
The Programme also pays attention to digitalisation. The Programme will help identify links between gambling and digital gaming and prevent and reduce gambling-related harm in digital environments. In addition, it will assess the need to amend harm-prevention and harm-reduction services and measures in a changing operating environment.
Implementation plan to be prepared for the implementation of the Programme
An implementation plan will be prepared for the Programme in stages by the end of 2023. The responsibility for drawing up the plan rest with a steering group which consists of members from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of the Interior, the Prime Minister's Office, the Gambling Administration of the National Police Board and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
The contents of the plan will be prepared as separate themes in collaboration with a network of operators. The themes of the Programme are:
- gambling system that prevents harm effectively
- preventive work and services
- knowledge base and indicators.
The Programme promotes the integration of the measures to prevent and reduce harm resulting from gambling and digital gaming.
Steering group assesses the implementation of the Programme and the achievement of objectives
The steering group appointed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health monitors and assesses the implementation of the Gambling Policy Programme and the achievement of its objectives. The task of the steering group is to appoint the subdivisions preparing the implementation plan, to monitor and guide the preparation of the plan and to coordinate the contents of the plan and to monitor the implementation of the plan during the steering group’s term.
With the help of the accumulated knowledge base, the steering group will assess how well the measures to develop the gambling system are implemented from the perspective of harm prevention and propose further measures in line with the Programme.
Mari Pajula, Senior Specialist
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Safety, Security and Health / TUTO, Wellbeing and Health Protection Unit / HYT Telephone:0295163040