GambleAware commits extra £3.9m to tackle problem gambling

14 May 2019

GambleAware has confirmed it will invest an additional £3.9m (€4.5m/$5.0m) to help fund the expansion of the National Gambling Treatment Service through GamCare and its network of partners across Great Britain.

The investment will run over a period of three years, with funds split across a number of initiatives. Most of the money (£2.35m) will be used to expand the provision of face-to-face treatment services in England, Scotland and Wales.

A total of £705,000 will help the National Gambling Helpline provide advice and brief interventions to more people, while £435,000 will be spent on offering computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to more people, where clinically appropriate.

In addition, £438,000 of the total investment will go towards developing peer support so that people who are recovering from gambling addiction can help others to access treatment and aftercare.

“This announcement reflects a commitment by GambleAware to take a strategic approach to commissioning treatment services, to give people the help that they need to tackle the hidden addiction of problem gambling, and to improve the quality of life for them and their families,” GambleAware chief executive, Marc Etches, said.

“This significant expansion of the existing National Gambling Treatment Service demonstrates the shared commitment between GambleAware and GamCare, as commissioner and prime provider respectively, to make a real difference to people’s lives, by reducing barriers to treatment and increasing the capacity in the treatment system.”

Funds will begin to be distributed across these initiatives with immediate effect, supplementing the other developments that GambleAware and GamCare are also working on as part of a Grant Agreement running from 2018 to 2021.

These projects include working with the Adfam charity to improve support for those affected by the gambling of others, and a major investment to open the NHS Northern Gambling Clinic and newly extended services from GamCare in Leeds this summer.

Last week, GambleAware reiterated calls for UK operators to offer more financial support its problem gambling efforts after revealing that industry funding failed to meet its 2018-19 target.

Voluntary donations from the industry during the 12 months to March 31, 2019 amounted to £9.6m, which, although up on the previous year, is short of the £10m that trustees of the problem gambling charity had asked of the market.