How to Counter Gambling Addiction in the UK?

The rise of online gambling has made it easier than ever to access gambling websites and apps. There is also a persistent bombardment of advertisements across various media channels. Ultimately, it leads to an increase in the number of people struggling with gambling problems, confirmed by our admissions team who wanted us to post about this growing problem in an effort to raise awareness and help you discover ways to help your loved ones heal from their gambling habits before it becomes too late.

Knowing the problem’s source means we can easily counter it. To help heal our clients, we utilise many effective strategies. Thankfully, the government is also looking at new ways to heal our country by exploring new regulations and releasing tips for helping our nation on the road to stopping gambling.

Someone's hands holding cards for poker

Latest Statistics on Gambling in the UK

According to the Gambling Commission, 44% of UK adults participated in gambling activities within the last four weeks as of December 2020. Also, the gross gambling yield in Great Britain amounted to a little over £14 billion as of March 2022. It increased from the previous year’s gross gambling yield of £12.7 billion.

Also, from March 2022 to March 2023, the overall engagement in any form of gambling activity within the last four weeks remained consistent at 44%. The in-person gambling participation rate remained stable at 27% during this period. However, it is still lower than the pre-pandemic level of approximately 35%. Similarly, the online gambling participation rate remained statistically steady at 26% compared to the data from March 2022.

The most popular type of gambling in the UK is the National Lottery, with almost a third of Brits (27%) participating in it in 2022. The most popular types of gambling are scratchcards (10%) and sports betting, with 5% of Brits participating in this in 2022.

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How to Counter Gambling Addiction in the UK

In the UK, efforts have been made to address the gambling problem. Here are some strategies and initiatives aimed at countering gambling addiction:

  1. Increased Awareness and Education: Raising awareness about the risks and consequences of gambling addiction is crucial. Educational campaigns can help people understand the signs of addiction. Public service announcements, advertisements, and informational materials can be disseminated through various channels, including TV, radio, and social media platforms.
  2. Self-Exclusion Programs: Self-exclusion programs allow individuals to exclude themselves from gambling activities voluntarily. In the UK, the “GamStop” scheme enables people to self-exclude from online gambling platforms licensed by the UK Gambling Commission. This helps limit their access to gambling and seek support during periods of vulnerability.
  3. Website Blockers and Parental Controls: Website blockers and parental control software can help access gambling websites. These tools can be effective in reducing the temptation to gamble. They also prevent underage individuals from engaging in gambling activities online. Additionally, parents can use parental control features to monitor and limit their children’s exposure to gambling-related content.
  4. Regulation of Advertising and Sponsorship: The UK has implemented stricter regulations on gambling advertising, including limiting the exposure of gambling advertisements on TV and social media platforms. Additionally, gambling operators’ sponsorship of sports teams and events has faced greater scrutiny and regulation.

UK-Based Trials to Counter Gambling Addiction

Several UK-based trials have been conducted to test different strategies for countering gambling addiction. There are several trials in the UK aimed at countering gambling addiction. One such trial is a new programme called “GambleAware.” It is a free online service that provides support and advice for people struggling with gambling addiction. Another trial is a cognitive-behavioural treatment program that aims to help people with gambling addiction learn how to control their gambling behaviour. There is also an internet-based treatment program that effectively treats gambling addiction. All of these trials help reduce the lifelong impacts gambling can have on people.

Regulation of Gambling Advertisements in the UK

Aside from various trials and methods for treating gambling addiction, there is also a need for stricter regulations on gambling advertisements. For instance, James Grimes, in recovery from a gambling addiction, claimed his life was ruined by his addiction. In an interview with Sky News, Grimes revealed that his gambling troubles began at the age of 16 with a £5 bet on a football match. For 12 years, he found himself trapped in a severe gambling addiction that cost him “everything.”

Grimes described his experience: “I was a normal young lad, then gambling took my life from me. It caused anxiety and depression and turned me into a shell of a man.” According to him, his addiction to betting was fueled by the rise of online gambling in 2007. Grimes emphasised that his addiction was driven by the allure of online gambling, which gradually took control of his life. The impact of his addiction was profound, leading to the destruction of various aspects of his life, including relationships and his career. This is why he strongly advocates for change.

Gambling advertising has increased substantially since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force. This has led to concerns about its impact on children, young people, and vulnerable adults. Currently, gambling operators selling into the British market must have a Gambling Commission license to perform their activities. The Advertising Codes ensure that gambling adverts do not portray, condone or encourage socially irresponsible gambling behaviour. Grimes’ personal account sheds light on the dangers of free advertising by online betting companies and highlights the need for tighter regulations. His call for a ban on such advertising resonates to prevent others from falling into the same devastating trap of gambling addiction.

Get Help for Gambling Addiction at the Providence Projects

We offer a range of programmes designed for people who struggle with problem gambling. We also admit many for dual diagnosis where their gambling problems co-occur with anxiety, PTSD or other mental health conditions. We also provide family support services to help loved ones understand addiction and try to mend relationships which have suffered as an effect of gambling. Providence Projects is committed to providing a safe, supportive environment to heal and recover from addiction. So, If you or someone you know is struggling with gambling addiction, reach out to our team of experts for help. By working together, we can help reduce the impact of gambling addiction in the UK.

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