Much Ado About Nothing? The Role of Land-Based Gambling Venue Employees in Facilitating Problem Gambling Harm Reduction and Help-Seeking

Ben J. Riley, Sharon Lawn, Beth R. Crisp, Malcolm Battersby

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Over the past decade, greater emphasis has been placed on the role of the land-based gambling industry to respond to problem gambling behaviour in their venues. Despite this, there is a lack of clear information advising best practice responses by gambling venue employees. This article reviews strategies, practices, and policies employed by land-based gambling venues concerning their employees’ role in preventing gambling-related harm and responding to problem gambling behaviours. A systematic search strategy was applied to source peer-reviewed literature which identified 49 articles. The synthesised results were arranged and presented across five categories: (1) the identification of gamblers with potential problems in the venue; (2) gambling venue staff responses to gamblers with potential problems; (3) gamblers’ perspectives around venue responsibilities and interactions with gamblers with potential problems; (4) corporate social responsibility programs and the identification of gamblers with problems in the venue; and (5) gambling venue staff needs. The results suggest that most activity performed by venue staff concerning their response to problem gambling is limited to observing and documenting risky behaviours and then discussing this internally with other venue staff. Action which moves beyond this, such as approaching and interacting with identified gamblers of concern, rarely occurs. The results of this review suggest that a focus on the identification and intervention specifically with identified gamblers of concern is a particularly unhelpful aspect of the role of venue staff. The results also indicate that a re-thinking of the role frontline staff play in addressing problem gambling is necessary.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Early online date21 Jun 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jun 2023


  • Harm minimisation
  • Problem gambling
  • Public health
  • Responsible gambling
  • Staff


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