Industry News

Support for problem gamblers improving all the time

Support for problem gamblers improving all the time
Simon Wooldridge
by Simon Wooldridge Last updated:

Positive news all round in the last few days from industry awareness and support groups. More people are getting help, and they’re getting it pretty quickly. 

Stats released by GambleAware showed an increase in monthly calls and online contacts for the sixth time in less than 18 months – peaking at 4,816 in January.

GambleAware also reported its self-assessment tool being accessed by over 100,000 users since it was launched.

Chief Commissioning Officer of GambleAware, Anna Hargrave, said: 

“The GambleAware commissioned National Gambling Support Network is designed to prevent the escalation of harms associated with gambling. The Network provides people with easy access to treatment and support... It is heartening to hear the positive impact the services have on people’s lives and the difference they make… providers play a vital role for people across the country, and we look forward to continuing to share this expertise and experience alongside the NHS.”

Timely, consistent  

Additionally, people looking for support from the National Gambling Support Network had treatment offered by the network within an average timescale of three-and-a-half days during the last quarter of 2023.

Another support body, the National Gambling Helpline reported more than 28,000 people accessing their services in the last year and experiencing interventions – defined as a 20-minutes (or more) conversation.

A YouGov survey of 5,075 UK gamblers carried out in January and February showed people seeking to reduce gambling harms were more inclined to access weekly support with a professional. Around two thirds of survey participants seemingly recognise regular contact and support as key to improved outcomes.

Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Gambling and Civil Society, and Minister for Equalities, Stuart Andrew said: 

“Being able to speak to someone if you're struggling with gambling is a vital tool in curbing gambling harms. The increase in calls to the National Gambling Helpline shows the importance of getting the right help in place for those who may be suffering.”

Eleven organisations make up The National Gambling Support Network. They offer free, confidential support for anyone experiencing gambling harm.

Growth more than matched by support

The gambling industry is growing, experiencing a 6.8% revenue increase between 2022 and 2023 so it is inevitable that to some degree an increase in problem gambling could be anticipated. It’s positive news though that the support mechanisms around the industry are clearly equipped to effectively administer and manage any increase, alongside existing demands.

It should also be noted that while there is sometimes something approaching a media fanfare around problem gambling, it's an issue that only impacts a tiny proportion of players and that the vast majority of people who gamble do it responsibly within their means.

Simon Wooldridge
by Simon Wooldridge Last updated:

Simon’s long-term fascination with slots started with teasing 40p worth of change from the skilful spinning of 10p coins into a fruit machine in the last century. This has grown recently to a solid appreciation for the often dazzling artistry, imagination and mechanics of modern online slots.