Towards a conceptual framework for the prevention of gambling-related harms: Findings from a scoping review

Jamie Wheaton*, Ben Ford, Agnes Nairn, Sharon Collard, Francis Xavier Kasujja (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

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The global gambling sector has grown significantly over recent years due to liberal deregulation and digital transformation. Likewise, concerns around gambling-related harms—experienced by individuals, their families, their local communities or societies—have also developed, with growing calls that they should be addressed by a public health approach. A public health approach towards gambling-related harms requires a multifaceted strategy, comprising initiatives promoting health protection, harm minimization and health surveillance across different strata of society. However, there is little research exploring how a public health approach to gambling-related harms can learn from similar approaches to other potentially harmful but legal sectors such as the alcohol sector, the tobacco sector, and the high in fat, salt and sugar product sector. Therefore, this paper presents a conceptual framework that was developed following a scoping review of public health approaches towards the above sectors. Specifically, we synthesize strategies from each sector to develop an overarching set of public health goals and strategies which—when interlinked and incorporated with a socio-ecological model—can be deployed by a range of stakeholders, including academics and treatment providers, to minimise gambling-related harms. We demonstrate the significance of the conceptual framework by highlighting its use in mapping initiatives as well as unifying stakeholders towards the minimization of gambling-related harms, and the protection of communities and societies alike.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0298005
Pages (from-to)1-35
Number of pages35
JournalPLoS One
Issue number3
Early online date22 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Mar 2024


  • Psychology
  • Gambling related harms (GRH)
  • gambling
  • Addiction
  • preventive measures
  • health communication


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