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Gambling treatment needs and gap analysis in Great Britain

Gambling (1)
Published: May 2020

This report synthesises findings across all strands of GambleAware’s recent programme of studies and reports on current need, demand and use of gambling treatment and support in Great Britain.

Aim

In 2018, GambleAware commissioned a programme of studies to review the current need, demand and use of gambling treatment and support in England, Scotland and Wales, to identify where there are geographic and demographic gaps in provision; and, to detail the demand for treatment and support by gamblers and affected others in Britain. This report synthesises findings across all strands of this programme of studies.

Findings

The size, distribution and characteristics of the gambling population in Britain

  • Three-fifths (61%) of adults in Britain have participated in any type of gambling activity in the last 12 months.

The sociodemographic and geographical characteristics of gamblers in Britain accessing treatment and support

  • Approximately 17% of all gamblers experiencing any level of harm (PGSI 1+) reported having used any type of treatment (e.g. mental health services) and support (e.g. friends/family) in the last 12 months.

Demand for treatment and support

  • Of all gamblers experiencing some level of harm (PGSI 1+), 18% stated they would like to receive some form of treatment or support in the next 12 months. Over half (57%) of problem gamblers (PGSI 8+) would like to receive some form of treatment and support.

Barriers to treatment and support access and engagement

  • Close to a third (31%) of gamblers (PGSI 1+) said that treatment and support was not relevant to them or would not be suitable for someone like them, and a fifth (21%) recognised positive impacts from gambling (e.g. making money). For one in ten (11%), stigma or shame was a barrier to seeking help.

The size of the affected others population, the impact on their lives and their perceptions/ experience of available treatment and support

  • Seven percent of people across Britain were identified as an affected other. The majority were the partner or close family member of a gambler (61%). Twenty percent of affected others also reported experiencing gambling harms themselves (PGSI 1+).

Methods

The findings presented in this report use data gathered from different research strands of this programme using mixed methods and led by ACT Recovery, NatCen, YouGov and UCL. NatCen has also led the synthesis of the evidence in the present report.

Download from the GambleAware website