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Women's Gambling Harms Prevention Campaign

GambleAware launched a new campaign to raise awareness of the gambling harms women experience, how to spot the early warning signs of harmful gambling and signpost the steps they can take to keep their gambling under control.

Background to the campaign

The issue of women’s experiences of gambling and gambling harms has generally not received the attention it deserves, in terms of research, policy or practice. There is also no pre-existing experience of women’s gambling harm prevention campaigns to build on, anywhere in the world.

As a result, GambleAware developed and launched the first gambling harm prevention campaign targeted at women. Before the campaign launched on 31 January, the following research was carried out: 

A detailed scoping exercise was conducted in 2020, involving a review of published data and research, as well as engagement with many subject matter experts. Following this, several stages of strategic and creative development research were conducted during 2021 to ensure that the communications developed resonated strongly with women who gamble, and women with lived experience of gambling harms. Our approach is informed by the ongoing GamCare Women’s Programme, an evaluation of which is published alongside this research synopsis[1]. To contribute to building the research base, GambleAware has recently made a £250,000 grant for new research into women’s lived experience of gambling harms[2] with a consortium comprising IFF Research, University of Bristol and the GamCare Women’s Programme. A research synopsis summarises some of the key findings and insights that informed development of the campaign. 

[1] Summary of GamCare Women’s Programme evaluation; see also https://www.gamcare.org.uk/outreach-and-training/womens-programme/

[2] See https://www.begambleaware.org/sites/default/files/2021- 11/Womens_Research_Programme_Announcement_final_0.pdf

Women's Gambling Harms Prevention Campaign 

On 31 January 2022, GambleAware launched a major new public health campaign to raise awareness of the gambling harms women experience, how to spot the early warning signs of harmful gambling and signpost the steps they can take to keep their gambling under control. 

The campaign is aimed at women who have a low to medium risk of gambling related harm, focusing on those who gamble online aged between 25-55. The campaign will be launched across PR, TV, video-on-demand, social and digital channels encouraging women to look out for the early warning signs of harmful gambling and direct them to the BeGambleAware website for free advice and support to keep their gambling under control. 

The campaign idea brings to life the experience that women have when they’re experiencing early signs of gambling harm: that they’re losing track of the world around them. This has been tested extensively with lived experience groups and the target audience, to positive feedback.  

The TV ad, directed by Thomas Ormonde at MindsEye can be viewed below.

The BeGambleAware website and campaign landing page will include advice and tools for keeping gambling under control, alongside sharing stories of women who have experienced gambling harms and clear treatment signposting for women who may be experiencing more significant gambling harms.  

Robust evaluation of the campaign will be conducted, bringing together campaign tracking, alongside other key data sources such as media metrics, PR metrics and website analytics. This will provide a holistic view of campaign performance, specifically: the exposure and awareness of the campaign; how the campaign engages with audience and how the messages resonate; the impact of the campaign on relevant attitudes and behaviours.

A short paper introduces the campaign evaluation approach and some of the key findings from the evaluation to date which can be viewed here

Supporting elements of the campaign

The campaign press release can be viewed here

Further support for the campaign has also been given by several leading experts and individuals across the health and treatment sectors. These include media medic experts, treatment specialists, women with lived experience of gambling harms, as well as celebrity support. With each of these individuals valuable involvement and support, the campaign will achieve a far wider reach and awareness, to ensure gambling harms amongst women is an issue people are aware of. 

As part of the PR activity to promote the campaign, a short film has been produced which follows TV presenter and broadcaster, Angellica Bell on a journey to better understand the issue and impact gambling harm can have on women. She talks to media medic Dr Ellie Cannon and Dr Liz Carter MBE about the early warning signs women can look out for, and the different experience women have when they start to experience harm from gambling. During the video, Angellica speaks to Tracy about her experiences of gambling harm as a woman and where she sought help and advice. Highlighting the support that is available for people struggling with their gambling, helpline expert Sonia Rossington shared information about what treatment is on offer and what to expect if calling the National Gambling Helpline.