GambleAware reports more than 100,000 people using online self-assessment tool to manage gambling

Responsible Gambling

Increasing numbers of people are accessing support for gambling harms after engaging with prevention initiatives, new data from GambleAware, the leading charity commissioning gambling harm prevention and treatment services, has revealed.

Latest figures reveal GambleAware’s online self-assessment tool – designed to help people understand how gambling might be harming them, and direct them to tailored support – was completed by over 100,000 people since launching in April 2023. Of these, roughly 28,000 contacted the National Gambling Helpline – on the phone or the live chat tool – for additional support and information from a trained advisor.

The uptake in the use of the tool aligns with increasing numbers accessing treatment and support through the GambleAware-commissioned National Gambling Support Network (NGSN). This includes a 20% rise in people receiving extended early intervention support1 – involving at least a 20 to 30-minute consultation with a trained advisor. In addition, the number of people contacting the NGSN for initial general advice and information on gambling harms has more than doubled2.

The increase in uptake of prevention initiatives comes as the betting and gaming industry’s revenues continued to rise, with the most recent figures from the Gambling Commission showing they had reached £15.1bn in the year to March 2023.

Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, said: “The figures released today underscore the critical role third-sector services play as part of a whole-system-approach to addressing gambling harms.

As we approach the Government’s planned announcement around the structure of the new system, it’s imperative a comprehensive prevention-led approach is prioritised,  including increased investment into free, confidential support services, educational initiatives, public health campaigns and digital resources,  which allow for a tailored approach for all communities across Great Britain who need our support.”

The self-assessment tool was launched at the same time as GambleAware’s leading public health campaign to tackle the stigma around gambling harms, ‘Let’s Open Up About Gambling’. The campaign, which reached nearly 30 million people, formed part of a coordinated drive to reduce barriers for accessing treatment and support, and promote gambling harms prevention.

Alexia Clifford, Chief Communications Officer at GambleAware, said: “We are encouraged to note the impact of this important campaign – with more than half of our target audience (56%) responding by taking proactive steps, such as reducing gambling, monitoring activity3, and engaging in open discussions about their concerns. These figures show the critical importance of prevention and early intervention in safeguarding individuals from the harms of gambling.”

The past year has also seen a record 24% rise in calls to the GambleAware-commissioned National Gambling Helpline – pointing to growing demand and a pressing need to prioritise a holistic response to address societal impact of gambling. This includes investing in grassroots education and training to help address gambling harms within the local communities.

As part of its commitment to increase local frontline capacity, GambleAware has trained more than 8,000 professionals across different sectors to recognise and assist those who may be experiencing gambling harm4.

Laura Mallis, Project Coordinator for Citizens Advice Scotland Gambling Support Service said: “At Citizens Advice Scotland, we’ve witnessed firsthand the profound and diverse impact gambling harms can have on our clients.

The training and upskilling our advisers and volunteers have received from the Gambling Support Service has transformed our response and equipped us with the ability to recognize relevant signs and offer more meaningful support. It’s sobering to realize how deeply these issues affect individuals, extending far beyond finances into their mental health and relationships. We’re truly grateful for this partnership with GambleAware, as it enables us to make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most.”