GamCare: Government’s Gambling Act review must fill RET social gaps

GamCare has become the latest problem gambling treatment support stakeholder to publish its ‘consultation phase’ response to the UK government’s review of the 2005 Gambling Act.   

As the operator of the National Gambling Helpline, GamCare stated that its response was reflective of the experiences of its staff and volunteers who support more than 40,000 people who engage with its services each year.

In its foreword statement, GamCare maintains that it holds a ‘non-judgemental approach’ to gambling policies being formed, however, the government must ensure that victims of gambling harms must have access to free and confidential advice.

Further to its response, GamCare has provided DCMS with its research commissioned on the ‘lived experience’ of problem gamblers using its services, which revealed that 64% of participants deemed that dedicated resources for gambling harm treatment were inefficient.

As a result, GamCare has called for the government to Increase investment in research, education and treatment (RET) programmes to protect and support those at risk of or experiencing harms.

Seeking to close social gaps in treatment, GamCare cites that funding should reflect ‘inclusive support’ for young adults, women, and members of BAME communities, who are currently under-represented in treatment services.

With regards to industry policies, GamCare supports a ‘collaborative approach’ focused on improving the standards of licensed online gambling incumbents and their duties in reducing gambling risks and harms.

In order to improve standards, GamCare states that the government needs to provide greater resources towards industry regulation – ‘reflective of the size and scale of the gambling sector’.

The charity states that industry governance and conduct will be helped by the introduction of a consumer ombudsman to deal with complaints from the public

In addition.  GamCare has called for the government to promote its Safer Gambling ‘quality mark’ for licenced gambling businesses, to signify best practice for gambling consumer

As previously communicated in its lived experiences feedback, GamCare states that industry safer gambling messages need to be modified to include ‘clear signposting to the National Gambling Treatment Service

“We’d like to say a thank you to everyone who took the time to respond to our survey and share their ideas and experiences with us,” GamCare concluded.

“Our response is so much more powerful for having the voices of people who know this issue from the inside at its heart.”

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