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GambleAware publishes data that shows public support for financial risk checks to help protect people from experiencing gambling harm

GambleAware publishes data that shows public support for financial risk checks to help protect people from experiencing gambling harm

Research is released as demand for gambling harms support and treatment services provided by the third sector continues to rise.

  • Latest polling data from GambleAware reveals three in five adults support the measures in principle, with affected others (those impacted by someone else's gambling) also likely to believe they will have a positive impact. 
  • The charity is backing the introduction of financial risk checks, and calls for a robust government led prevention strategy to protect millions from experiencing gambling harms.
  • Research is released ahead of upcoming parliamentary debate on industry-backed calls to abandon or dilute financial risk checks – and as Gambling Commission data shows gross gambling yield continues to grow across the board
  • The GambleAware website has a range of free advice, tools and services available for anyone experiencing gambling harms at any level, including a new calculator to help people keep track of time and money spent gambling

GambleAware, the leading commissioner of gambling harms prevention and treatment services in Great Britain, is backing the need for financial risk checks to be carried out by the gambling industry to protect millions from harm caused by unaffordable financial losses, as it releases new polling data1 showing broad public support for financial risk checks.

While acknowledging it is important checks are implemented correctly and safely, GambleAware stated the Government should prioritise the new measures as part of the implementation of a robust prevention strategy for gambling harms, with any delay likely to result in further harm experienced by the public.

Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, said: “As we continue to see a steady rise in demand for support and treatment services, we are urging the Government to ensure there are no missed opportunities when it comes to the instruction of robust preventative measures to tackle this rapidly growing public health issue.

“It's imperative that proactive measures are taken to address the root causes of gambling harm, including comprehensive education programmes and awareness-raising campaigns, stronger regulations to protect vulnerable populations, and sufficient funding for treatment and support services. By prioritising preventative action and ensuring the industry take some responsibility for protecting individuals against unaffordable losses, we can mitigate the detrimental impact of problem gambling on individuals and society as a whole.”

Polling revealed approximately three in five adults (57%) support enhanced financial risk checks2 in principle, while ‘affected others’ – people impacted by a loved one’s gambling – are more likely to support the proposals, with over three quarters (76%) believing it will shift more responsibility onto gambling companies rather than solely those who gamble. Two-thirds (63%) stated they also believe the measure will help reduce the number of people facing financial harm as a result of gambling.

Nicola Jaques, family support worker for the Beacon Counselling Trust in Preston, and an affected other of gambling harms, said: “Unaffordable losses can cause serious harm to people’s lives, but it can affect so much more than just our finances.

“My husband’s gambling had a profound emotional, physical and financial impact on me and my family. Safeguards like these financial risk checks are so important because they would help protect not only the person experiencing problems with gambling, but also those around them. Anyone can experience gambling harm and it affects far more than just one person – financial checks could make a world of difference to so many lives.”

GambleAware is the leading commissioner in Great Britain of prevention and support services, including the National Gambling Support Network (NGSN) – which provides free, confidential support for people across the country experiencing gambling harm, as well as their loved ones. Latest figures3 show that in 2023 alone, over 50,000 people contacted the National Gambling Helpline (which is part of the NGSN), looking for information, support and counselling – a 24% rise compared to the previous year.

In response to growing demand for solutions and resources which promote early intervention, GambleAware has also launched a new calculator tool on its website, to help people keep track of how much time and money they are spending on gambling, and to get support if they are at risk of starting to experience harm. The new calculator tool can be accessed on the charity’s website, alongside its self-assessment tool which has been completed over 100,000 times, together with a number of other resources available.

The announcement and data are released ahead of a parliamentary debate on industry-backed calls to abandon or dilute financial checks, and follows new data4 from the Gambling Commission which revealed that gambling was on the rise, with rates of online bets experiencing a sharp 9% annual increase, with in turn comes with increased risk of gambling harm.

Notes to Editors

  1. Ipsos surveyed 4,170 adults aged 18 – 75 across Great Britain through the Ipsos iSay online panel. The fieldwork dates were 29th September – 4th October 2023. Data is weighted to the known adult population of Great Britain, by age, gender, social grade and work status. Full Ipsos data is available upon request.
  2. The Gambling Commission proposed light touch checks are conducted when people experienced a £125 net loss within a rolling 30 day period or £500 within a rolling 365 day period. Enhanced checks would be conducted when people experienced losses greater than £1,000 within a rolling 24 hours or £2,000 within 90 days. 
  3. Figures from GamCare, who operate the National Gambling Helpline.
  4. Gambling Commission’s ‘Market impact data on gambling behaviour - operator data to Dec 2023

About GambleAware  

  • GambleAware is the leading independent charity (Charity No. England & Wales 1093910, Scotland SC049433) and strategic commissioner of gambling harm education, prevention and treatment across Great Britain to keep people safe from gambling harms.   
  • GambleAware commissions the National Gambling Support Network (NSGN) which provides, free confidential treatment, as well as the National Gambling Helpline which takes around 50,000 calls a year.  
  • The charity is independent and evidence-based, with a robust governance process in place to ensure the industry has absolutely no input or influence on our work.  
  • Gambling harms can affect anyone, and not just those who gamble, but also their families and communities. These harms particularly affect communities that already face inequality.  

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GambleAware Open Code Statement

GambleAware has adopted an open research model to ensure that the research it funds will be transparent and accessible to achieve the greatest impact while ensuring the highest confidence in commissioned work.