The U.K. spends more than £100m a year in health services related to problem gambling, according to a recent report by U.K.-based charity GambleAware.
According to the U.K.’s Gambling Commission, there are 148 casinos in operation in the U.K., and almost 21 million customer visits. The Health Survey for England, which was published in 2014, stated that in 2012, 68 percent of men and 61 percent of women (a total of 18.5 million people) had gambled in the previous 12 months. Those aged between 25 and 64 had the highest prevalence of gambling, the report stated, and the lowest incidence was among either the very young or very old.
Why has gambling affected so many people across the pond? Many point the finger at the multitude of channels to place bets, such as online betting, fantasy sports and online slot machines.
Common signs of gambling addiction include strange and erratic behavior, long, drawn-out excuses for small matters and gambling even when there isn’t enough disposable income to do so.
Thankfully, there is help available to those experiencing gambling addiction. In 2008, Fulham opened the National Problem Gambling Clinic. Around 15 problem gamblers are referred to the clinic every week from across the country; every year between 750 and 900 people start treatment there, many of which are middle-aged men. Only 70 percent of them were employed.
When guests walk through the clinic’s doors, patients and family members are given counseling in order to cope with the fallout of their addiction. Much like patients with a substance use disorder, those who struggle with gambling addiction go to… (continue reading)