Setting Limits: Gambling, Science and Public Policy—summary of results Academic Article uri icon


  • The gambling industry has grown into a global business in the 21st century. This has created the need for a new emphasis on problem prevention. This article highlights the core themes of the book Setting Limits: Gambling, Science and Public Policy, taking a broad view of the consequences of gambling for society as a burden on health, well-being and equality. The book covers the extent of gambling and gambling-related problems in different societies and presents a critical review of research on industry practices, policy objectives and preventive approaches, including services to people suffering from gambling and its consequences. It discusses the developments in game characteristics and gambling environments and provides evidence on how regulation can affect those. Effective measures to minimize gambling harm exist and many are well supported by scientific evidence. They include restrictions on general availability as well as selective measures to prevent gamblers from overspending. The revenue generated from gambling for the industry, governments, and providers of public services funded from gambling returns presents an obstacle to developing policies to implement harm-reduction measures. A public interest approach must weigh these interests against the suffering and losses of the victims of gambling.


  • Sulkunen, Pekka
  • Babor, Thomas F
  • Cisneros Örnberg, Jenny
  • Egerer, Michael
  • Hellman, Matilda
  • Livingstone, Charles
  • Marionneau, Virve
  • Nikkinen, Janne
  • Orford, Jim
  • Room, Robin
  • Rossow, Ingeborg

publication date

  • January 2021