The responsible gambling charity GambleAware said awareness of the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) had grown following new campaigns. The figures come as Safer Gambling Week begins in the UK.
UK.- The industry charity GambleAware has reported an increase in awareness in Britain’s National Gambling Treatment Service following its last campaign. The spring campaign aimed to reach high-risk gamblers through newspaper, magazine, out-of-home advertising, radio and online ads.
It included four series of publicity targeted at men and one at women, with a greater focus on London and the Midlands since these had been found to have high rates of high-risk gamblers.
GambleAware said the campaign reached 74 per cent of high-risk male gamblers in August 2021 and that 60 per cent of those reached said they would contact NGTS as a first step if they had concerns about gambling. That’s an increase from 47 per cent in May 2020.
The charity also reported that high-risk gamblers were wagering more following the Covid-19 pandemic. Calls and online chats to the NGTS National Gambling Helpline increased by 41 per cent between March 2019 and March 2021.
GambleAware reported a rise in the proportion of high-risk male gamblers that wanted to change gambling behaviour. Some 34 per cent used the NGTS or National Gambling Helpline, while 33 of those not trying to change their behaviour said they would probably contact the service if they wanted to.
Survey provider Ipsos Mori reported that awareness of the NGTS was 40 per cent among high-risk male gamblers and 50 per cent among the important affected others.
GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond said: “The National Gambling Treatment Service brings together a network of organisations across Great Britain that provides free confidential treatment and support for anyone experiencing gambling harms.
“It is heartening to see that this campaign is helping to signpost more people to treatment for gambling harms, and also working to drive greater awareness of the provision of treatment services.”
Safer Gambling Week 2021 begins in the UK
Safer Gambling Week 2021 has begun in the UK. Running since 2017, the annual campaign is organised by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the Bingo Association and the gaming centre association Bacta.
BGC CEO Michael Dugher highlighted the recent Gambling Commission data that showed that Britain’s problem gambling rate fell from 0.6 per cent to 0.3 per cent in the past year.
He said: “Safer Gambling Week is now an established annual event. We know that rates of problem gambling are low and are now falling, which is great news, but Safer Gambling Week is further evidence of the regulated industry’s determination to keep raising standards.
“Safer Gambling Week brings together everyone who genuinely wants to see safer gambling including the regulator, the Government and so many cross-party MPs. For the regulated industry, safer gambling isn’t just an issue for one week of the year, it’s our top priority all year round.”