Gambling harms support delivered by third sector helped nine out of 10 improve condition - annual statistics reveal
New GambleAware data from the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) and the newly commissioned National Gambling Support Network (NGSN) highlight high efficacy and impact.
- The GambleAware commissioned National Gambling Treatment Service enables thousands to access free, effective gambling harms support – ranging from early intervention through to therapy and residential treatment.
- Support is highly effective, with 9 in 10 patients seeing an improvement after completing treatment – with large reductions in gambling problems on average.
- Support is also fast – half of users are seen within 5 days or less of referral, and 75% within nine days.
- Additional data also revealed demand for preventative support has risen, with help delivered through the National Gambling Helpline increasing by 46% in the first quarter compared to last year.
- Figures are released as call is issued for urgent reassurance from Government that the proposal for the implementation of the new statutory levy on gambling operators will not leave third-sector services at risk of collapse.
Saturday 2nd December: Nine in 10 people (88%) who completed treatment through the National Gambling Treatment Service – commissioned by the charity GambleAware – saw an improvement in their condition, according to the latest data for 2022-23 released today.
The National Gambling Treatment Service is comprised of 10 organisations operating across England, Scotland and Wales. The network provides free and confidential treatment, early intervention, and prevention services for anyone experiencing gambling-related harms. Every year, nearly 7,000 people access structured support through the network, and over 44,000 calls are answered by the National Gambling Helpline.
Despite considerable demand, waiting times were very short with 1 in 2 (50%) people seen within five days after their referral, and 3 in 4 (75%) seen within just nine days.
Anna Hargrave, Chief Commissioning and Strategy Officer at GambleAware, said: “Today’s data clearly demonstrates the value of the prevention-focused approach applied through our network. It is a timely reminder of the importance of investing in early treatment – especially as recently reported figures from the Gambling Commission suggest prevalence of harmful gambling may be much larger than previously estimated."
In April, GambleAware relaunched the treatment service as the National Gambling Support Network (NGSN) – and demand for services has already risen. In April-June 2023, there was a 24% year-on-year increase in calls to the National Gambling Helpline, and a 46% year-on-year increase in early intervention – including guided, online and in person support – delivered through the Helpline. This is in addition to an 18% rise in demand for structured treatment.
Graham England, CEO at Ara Recovery for All, said: “NGSN services represent the first line of defence in supporting and reaching people before problems with gambling become catastrophic consequences. We are talking about brilliant, dedicated teams making a decisive difference in the lives of thousands of people across Great Britain. The latest data from this network commissioned through GambleAware, highlights just how effective, and desperately needed, those tailored, community-focused, interventions are.”
The figures published by GambleAware highlights the effectiveness of the services provided and the emphasise on early intervention and prevention – but the charity has issued a stark warning that they could collapse under the Government’s current proposals for the implementation of the statutory levy on gambling operators.
Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, said: “We welcome the government’s forthcoming statutory levy on gambling operators – it is a measure we have long called for to make sure that funding for vital research, treatment and prevention of gambling harms is both long-term and transparent. However, the focus on specialist-led services means right now, hundreds of dedicated third sector support workers are deeply concerned about their future and the future of the communities they serve.
"There is an urgent need for reassurance from Government that these essential services will be protected during and following the transition. We cannot lose the vast years of experience and expertise contained in the National Gambling Support Network and the wider third sector”.
In addition to hampering the third-sector’s ability to deliver vital services, leading experts have also raised concerns that the Government’s proposed new system would increase pressure on the NHS’ finances and waiting lists.
Professor Dame Clare Gerada said: “From my experience running the NHS Primary Care Gambling Service, which is part of the National Gambling Support Network, I have seen first-hand the benefits of being part of a thriving and connected third sector ecosystem. My experience has also made it abundantly clear that whilst the NHS gambling clinics have a place in the system, what we also need is an approach which aims to prevent gambling harms from escalating – before people find themselves at the much more serious point of needing specialist care.
“Gambling harms are a societal, public health issue – not just a medical one. Whilst the specialist sector has a valuable and important role, relying predominantly on this sector is neither financially viable nor logistically feasible.”
The National Gambling Support Network is available for anyone who is experiencing harm from gambling and wants support for it, as well as those who are affected by someone else’s gambling. All services are free and confidential, with one-to-one support available to help you get back on track.
For more information, search GambleAware or contact the National Gambling Helpline, available 24/7, on 0808 8020 133.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
About these figures:
- The 2022/23 NGTS Annual Statistics report is available on the GambleAware website.
- Additional figures, based on internal GambleAware contract monitoring data, show the changes since 2022/23 as well as the figures for early intervention. These are shown below.
Referrals for NGSN treatment (Tiers 3 and Tier 4)
People starting Tier 2 (extended brief interventions by NGSN treatment providers
Calls/chats to National Gambling Helpline (NGH)
Tier 2 (extended brief interventions) delivered through NGH
- Across 2022/23 as a whole, 4,941 people started receiving Tier 2 (extended brief interventions) delivered by NGSN treatment providers. This only counts the number of people starting Tier 2 support, which will be lower than the total number of people who received Tier 2 support during the year. The quarterly figures are below:
- GambleAware is the leading independent charity (Charity No. England & Wales 1093910, Scotland SC049433) and strategic commissioner of gambling harm education, prevention and treatment across Great Britain to keep people safe from gambling harms.
- GambleAware commissions the National Gambling Support Network (NSGN) which provides, free confidential treatment, as well as the National Gambling Helpline which takes around 44,000 calls a year.
- The charity is independent and evidence-based, with a robust governance process in place to ensure the industry has absolutely no input or influence on our work.
- Gambling harms can affect anyone, and not just those who gamble, but also their families and communities. These harms particularly affect communities that already face inequality.