Beyond Reno: a Critical Commentary on Hancock and Smith

Av: Abbott, M.W.
Publicerad: 2017
Kategorier: Om spelansvar spelansvarsverktyg och policy


This article provides commentary on Hancock and Smith’s examination of the Reno Model of responsible gambling (RG). Hancock and Smith (2017) contend that the model, intended to provide consumer protection and reduce gambling-related harm, serves as a major impediment to implementation of effective RG policies. This impediment is in large part attributed to the model’s long domination of the ‘international RG policy landscape’ and its emphasis on individual responsibility and problem gamblers. Hancock and Smith also examine other barriers to the introduction of more effective policies. They propose incorporation of the Reno Model within a broader RG-Consumer Protection approach. This approach includes public health principles, consumer protection, duty-of-care, regulatory responsibility and independent research. While portrayed starkly, when there are shades of grey, Hancock and Smith’s critique has merit. Their main conclusion is compelling, namely that effective consumer protection and harm reduction will require much greater emphasis on changes to gambling products, industry operations and practices, and gambling regulation. This article supports the RG-Consumer Protection approach. It also presents epidemiological and other research findings that identify a wide range of risk and protective factors. It suggests that consideration of the full spectrum of modifiable factors at individual, community and wider social levels will enhance policy and prevention programme outcomes. A number of these factors are common to other health conditions, so there is potential for collaboration and synergies with health and social agencies. Mention is made of recent meetings of the International Think Tank on Gambling Research, Policy and Practice and the World Health Organisation. The outcomes of these meetings portend collaborations to advance a global gambling public health agenda.