International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction

, Volume 15, Issue 6, pp 1187–1192 | Cite as

Rehabilitating Reno: a Commentary on Hancock and Smith

  • Martin Young
  • Francis MarkhamEmail author


Hancock and Smith critique the “Reno model” on several accounts. Yet, despite their robust critical evaluation, they are surprisingly ambivalent about its potential for future use, suggesting that the model may be usefully redeemed by improving its provisions for consumer protection. In this commentary, we argue that Hancock and Smith’s proposed improvements to the Reno model do not go far enough. To that end, we aim to rehabilitate the Reno model by radically transforming its assumptions into a set of eight axioms on which effective consumer protection measures might be based. This provisional framework for the social management of gambling may support the policy outcomes advocated by Hancock and Smith. If regulators and researchers are serious about effective gambling harm minimisation, then our rehabilitated Reno model might offer a new and necessary set of foundational principles for research and practice.


Gambling regulation Public health Reno model Responsible gambling Gambling industry Consumer protection 



The authors are grateful to Holly Sansone for her helpful comments on an early draft of this manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Martin Young has received funding from the Australian Research Council, Gambling Research Australia, and several Australian state government departments, most notably the Community Benefit Fund of the Northern Territory Government.

Francis Markham has received funding from, or been employed on projects that received funding from, the Australian Research Council, the Community Benefit Fund of the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory Gambling and Racing Commission. His travel expenses to speak at an international conference have been paid by the Alberta Gambling Research Institute, an organisation funded by the provincial government of Alberta. He is a member of the Public Health Association of Australia.

Neither author has received funding from the gambling, tobacco, or alcohol industries nor are there any constraints on the publication of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business and TourismSouthern Cross UniversityCoffs HarbourAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, College of Arts and Social SciencesThe Australian National UniversityCanberraAustralia

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