UK group says problem gamblers not getting help

Gamble Aware says at-risk groups need tailored solutions.
Gamble Aware says at-risk groups need tailored solutions.

UK support group Gamble Aware says almost half of problem gamblers are not accessing the support they need.

UK.- The support group Gamble Aware has reported that nearly half of the UK’s problem gamblers have not accessed treatment or support because of a lack of awareness or because of social stigma.

A report by the group found that 46 per cent of those displaying gambling harm were hesitant to seek help, while 17 per cent believed their gambling was not harmful, and 27 per cent said they felt likely to experience social stigma or shame.

The report is the group’s first Treatment Needs and Gap Analysis Report and was carried out by several researchers including input from the National Centre for Social Research.

It included a YouGov population-level survey of more than 12,000 adults carried out between September and October 2019. 

A Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) was used to determine the risk of a gambler. Research found 13 per cent of adults scored one or higher on the scale, with 3 per cent of respondents defined as problem gamblers, scoring 8+.

Only 17 per cent of those showing harm had accessed some form of treatment or support in the past year, while women, ethnic minority groups and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, in particular, are at risk of not having their needs met.

Gamble Aware has recommended tailoring services to risk groups that are less likely to have access, as well as the continuation of education programmes to raise awareness of gambling addiction.

Gamble Aware CEO, Marc Etches, said: “This research has shown there is a clear need to further strengthen and improve the existing treatment and support on offer, to develop routes into treatment and reduce barriers to accessing help.”

The UK’s Betting and Gaming Council has recently announced the launch of a £10million gambling education programme aimed at young people in the UK.

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