Research suggests fewer people accessing support or treatment for gambling harms in Scotland
GambleAware finds that across Scotland, fewer people experiencing gambling problems are accessing treatment, support or advice compared to the average across Britain
- Scotland has lower levels of people experiencing problems with their gambling who access treatment, support or advice (17%) than the average across Great Britain (21%), with Scotland ranked lowest out of the three countries in Great Britain.
- Research from GambleAware also revealed how the need for support varies across Scotland, with Glasgow City having the highest rate of people gambling with negative consequences.
- GambleAware’s new interactive maps show the demand for support across Britain, and its regional first approach to tackling gambling harms ensures people can access support across the country.
Research from GambleAware, the leading charity that commissions gambling harm prevention and treatment services, suggests that fewer people are accessing support or treatment for gambling harms in Scotland than in the rest of Great Britain.
GambleAware has released interactive maps showing gambling harms at a local authority and parliamentary constituency level across Great Britain. The maps show where there are higher levels of gambling harm. This could include harms such as losing money or having mental or physical health negatively affected.
The data that was used to create the maps1 reveals that Scotland has lower levels of people accessing treatment, support or advice for gambling harms at 16.7% of those who gamble with any level of problems (rated PGSI 1+ on the Problem Gambling Severity Index scale2), which is lower than the average across Great Britain of 20.9%. The proportion seeking help amongst this group was also lower in Scotland than in Great Britain as a whole (15.5% compared to 19.4%).
People in Scotland who experience any level of gambling problems (PGSI 1+) and have accessed treatment are most likely to do so because of the impact on their finances, reported by 29.2% of this group. By contrast, they are less likely to cite severe negative impacts such as the risk of losing their job or home as a reason for seeking support, with only 12.6% reporting this.
The five local areas in Scotland with the highest estimated rates of gambling problems are Glasgow City, Dundee City, North Lanarkshire, Aberdeen City and the City of Edinburgh.
GambleAware also found that 60.5% of people in Scotland had participated in any form of gambling in 2022, slightly higher than the GB average of 60.3%. This is equivalent to over 2.7 million adults.
GambleAware is the only commissioner of gambling harms treatment and prevention in Scotland. Publishing the maps is part of the charity’s regional-first approach to tackling gambling harms, which aims to ensure that people can find support for gambling harms in their local communities. GambleAware’s work include developing a comprehensive partnership of treatment and support providers to help people across Great Britain - the National Gambling Support Network (NGSN).
Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said: “Gambling harms can affect anyone, and we are concerned to see that fewer people are accessing treatment and support in Scotland.
“As the leading gambling harms charity in Great Britain, we’ve published these maps and data to provide information to help address treatment and support needs in local communities.
“Some people may not have reached out for help because they are unsure of where to find it, but anyone concerned about their gambling, or that of a loved one, can search GambleAware for free, confidential advice, tools and support. The National Gambling Helpline is also available on 0808 8020 133 and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”
“We also commission the National Gambling Support Network, which means those experiencing gambling harm can access specialist, tailored treatment and support, quickly and efficiently, wherever they are across Great Britain.”
Andy Todd, CEO of RCA Trust, based in Paisley, said: “As a treatment provider within the National Gambling Support Network based in Scotland, we see firsthand the effects gambling can have on individuals across the country. These new maps help confirm what we see every day.
“It is so important the treatment and support services available for people are as accessible, proactive and representative as possible, and we work to ensure that with the services we provide.
“The design of the National Gambling Support Network means those who are experiencing gambling harm can access specialist, tailored treatment or support, dependent on their needs, quickly and efficiently, wherever they are across Great Britain, including in Scotland.”
This data is being released following the launch of a Government consultation on a statutory gambling levy. GambleAware will be responding to the consultation in full and looks forward to continuing to work with the NHS closely.
1. Annual GambleAware GB Treatment and Support Survey 2022
2. The Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) is a standardised measure of the level of gambling problems, ranging from non-problem gambling (a PGSI score of 0), low level of problems (a score of 1-2), moderate level of problems (a score of 3-7), and problem gambling (score of 8+). See the Gambling Commission page on the PGSI https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/statistics-and-research/publication/problem-gambling-screens for more details.