GamCare Statement on Select Committee Report 24th July 2012
24 July 2012
GamCare is pleased that three of the main issues it raised in its evidence to the Committee – improving public awareness, tackling education for under-16s and helping gamblers to help themselves – all figure in the Committee’s final report, published today.
Chief Executive Andy McLellan said:
“We are particularly pleased that in its wide-ranging review of the gambling landscape the Committee has identified the need to develop an information campaign on problem gambling aimed at non-gamblers. It is often the partner or parent of someone in trouble who is best placed to spot their problem and encourage them to seek help. To do this, though, they need to know that the GamCare HelpLine – 0808 8020 133 – exists. A simple and cost-free way to contribute to achieving this would be for the industry to carry the number on all their advertising, and we hope that will be the next step.
“We also welcome the Committee’s encouragement to creating a “universal” system for self-exclusion. Self-exclusion can be an important tool for the individual struggling with their gambling, and we are already working closely with the industry and the Gambling Commission on possible solutions. The focus on education for under-16 year olds is also very important – and overdue”
The Report recommends a number of liberalisations which would lead to increasing numbers of B2 (or FOBT) machines on the high street, in betting shops and, for the first time, in adult gaming centres. The Committee also suggest existing casino licences should be portable – ie can be used in any part of the country, subject to the local authority’s permission – and that existing casinos should have the same freedoms as the new casinos under the 2005 Act.
Commenting on this, Andy McLellan said:
“Most problem gamblers gamble in many different ways, but FOBTs are increasingly cited by our callers and clients as a part of their problematic gambling pattern, and they certainly have some of the features associated with the potential to encourage excessive play. Delegating more power to local authorities would require local licensing officers to become much more expert in issues to do with problem gambling, an expertise which we are not sure many local authorities have at present.”
Mandy Barrie, GamCare, 020 7801 7058
Notes for editors
- GamCare is the national provider of education, advice, practical help, support and treatment for anyone affected by problem gambling. Founded in 1997, the GamCare helpline receives over 100 calls per day with 85% of clients rating the service as “very good” or “excellent”. In 2011/12 we treated more than 2,700 clients. 90% of gamblers in treatment are assessed as problem gamblers; this reduces to around 30% at the end of treatment. GamCare’s return on investment is very high at 7:1.
- GamCare supports best practice within the gambling industry through training, GamCare Certification and consultation. GamCare Certification is an internationally recognised third party accreditation available for gaming, betting and lottery products across land-based, mobile gaming and internet platforms. Key people within the organisation who have responsibility for policy and procedures, and those who have contact with the customer, must receive training in social responsibility and problem gambling awareness. GamCare training is face-to-face or via GamCare ExTra e-learning. Certification is reviewed annually and training must be refreshed annually.