While gambling sites are highly regulated and work hard to ensure that their services are used responsibly, problem gambling does still occur. That is why gambling regulatory bodies and charities have been set up to counteract the influence of it. Organisations like the UKGC and MGA ensure that its licensees work to a very high standard to ensure that those who play with at the site are given the full support they need, while links to charities and organisations designed to help players in their difficult moments are always clearly identified.
GambleAware is one of the most widely visible charities that provide support for problem gamblers. While it is responsible for funding support and providing certain services for players, this is not something it is directly responsible for.
It is an independent charity, but it is largely funded by contributions from operators who are required to do so under the License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), which is a prerequisite of its membership to the UKGC. These contributions count towards research into the prevention and treatment of problem gambling, as well as finding new ways of approaching the issue.
GambleAware also runs BeGambleAware which is more centred around providing information for players with problem gambling habits. These can range from guides and handbooks that serve to better inform player decisions, to contact information for organisations who can offer more support.
GamCare is another organisation run by GambleAware, and its core mission is to raise awareness of just what constitutes problem gambling behaviour, while also providing support and advice for individuals affected by it as well as their families.
Part of the support it provides is by operating phone lines and chat rooms through which problem gamblers can access support. The National Gambling HelpLine provides confidential one-to-one support and practical advice for those suffering under the effects of problem gambling. Its live chat service is available for those who would prefer to speak via mobile or computer rather than on the phone and both services are open and available 24 hours a day.
Contact GamCare via HelpLine (0808 8020 133) or live chat.
Gamblers Anonymous UK
As one of the oldest gambling support organisations in the UK, having founded in 1964, Gamblers Anonymous is a group working on tried and proven methods. People can open up and access support through group therapy sessions, where they can share their experiences and comment on those of others. There is also the option for advice to be gained from live chat rooms and online forums, while further information can also be found by getting in contact via email and through the organisation’s phone lines.
Contact Gambler Anonymous UK via email ([email protected]), via phone (0330 094 0322) or via its website.
GamAnon is associated with Gamblers Anonymous, but instead of focusing on the players, it provides support for the friends and families of those impacted by compulsive gambling habits. Information between the two groups is never shared so anything shared can always be done in confidence and, just as with Gamblers Anonymous, there are also online resources, with Zoom meetings being held on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, as well as on Sundays.
Join a GamAnon Zoom Meeting
Gordon Moody Association
While a lot of organisations provide remote support or information for problem gamblers and their families, the Gordon Moody Association (GMA) provides hands-on residential assistance to those with serious gambling problems. Established way back in 1971, you can be sure that the GMA has a proven track record of experience, and with the recent establishment of its first two UK based treatment centres, the charity’s good work is set to continue.
GMA support staff are made up of a mixture of trained counsellors and those who have experienced problem gambling – either directly or indirectly – and so the wealth of advice and help they can offer is both professional and personal. You can recommend a friend or family member to services provided by the GMA, but that person will have to consent to it first.
Because of funding from GambleAware and GamCare, the service is mostly free, however, there may be some extra costs for private residential visits.
Contact Gordon Moody Association via telephone (01384 241292) or email ([email protected])
Young Gamers & Gamblers Education Trust
The Young Gamblers Trust was set up to understand and challenge the link between young people and unhealthy gambling. As part of a 2019 report into young people’s relationship with gambling, the UKGC showed that 11% of 11-16-year-olds had taken part in some form of gambling activity in the 7 days before the survey, while 69% of 11-16-year-olds said they had seen or heard of some form of gambling advertising or sponsorship.
The charity, set up Lee Willows, not only aims to understand the link between gambling and young people through research but also runs workshops and programmes that help to prevent forms of gambling-related harm. Those in positions of authority over young people, such as teachers and social workers, accredited training to identify when problematic behaviour may be developing within a young person as well as guidance on how best to combat that. This scheme and its resources have been accredited by ASDAN and its quality assured by the PSHE Association.