Gambling addictions have become a scourge across the UK, and it is causing widespread concerns. Gambling negatively impacts the lives of many people in the UK; not only the addicted individual but also this personâ€™s family and friends, too.
It can be frustrating and upsetting for family members and friends to witness their loved one battle a gambling addiction. In many cases, the addict will not even realise that he or she has a problem until it is too late. In light of this, there are those that believe the gambling industry should be doing more to prevent gambling addictions and support those already suffering from this.
CARE is a Christian action group that have united with many other groups to campaign for the gambling industry to support services for gambling addicts by putting in more funds. Figures have emerged recently showing very few affected individuals are receiving the support they so desperately need.
In the UK alone, an estimated 250,000 people are suffering from a gambling addiction, but GambleAware estimates that only three per cent of this number actually receives any form of professional treatment to tackle the issue. Dan Boucher, director of parliamentary affairs at CARE, explained, â€œThere is a significant minority of gamblers for whom addiction is a real problem and causes deep trauma in their lives, and that is a side effect of the gambling industry. Some forms of gambling addiction can lead to violence. In some incidences, there are even cases of people committing suicide.â€
CARE joined forces with GambleAware, and both are demanding that the gambling industry, along with lotteries, sports clubs and advertisers, contributes to education, research and treatment services for gambling addicts. The gambling industry raked in an enormous Â£12.6 billion in profits in 2015 alone, and from that figure, only Â£7 million was donated to gambling addiction charities, says CARE.
Boucher believes the industry should be doing much more to help addicted individuals, and said, â€œWe should move to a place where the gambling industry puts back in to help those who suffer as a consequence of the product it provides. They currently only contribute less than a tenth of one per cent of their gross gambling yield.â€
Those who gamble frequently are obviously more vulnerable to developing an addiction. GambleAware has explained that the problem is highest among ex-military servicemen, the homeless and those in the criminal justice system. Kate Lampard, GambleAwareâ€™s newly appointed chairperson of trustees, said, â€œOur number one priority is protecting the vulnerable. The most important thing to us is to be able to provide treatment, preventative education and research to minimise the harm caused by gambling.â€ While Dan Boucher went further: â€œThe gambling industry generates a lot of money in this country. We would argue that the industry has to take far more seriously the social destruction of the lives of some people.â€
Help and Support
Those suffering from a gambling addiction may not even realise that there is an issue with their actions. In these cases, it is often down to loved ones to recognise the problem and address it accordingly. However, this can often cause issues sometimes as the addict may become aggressive and hostile towards their loved one who is only trying to help them.
If you suspect that you or a loved one may be suffering from a gambling addiction and are unsure of what to do, contact us here at Recovery Lighthouse. We will work with you or your loved one to ensure that the addiction is beaten and that you or they move on to live a happy, sober life.
- Gambling Industry Must Do More to Help Addicts Says Christian Group (Premier.org.uk)