GamCare predicts a rise in women seeking help as a result of the Euros and is therefore offering help now to try and prevent gambling harms through a trio of free services available through TalkBanStop.
The UEFA European Football Championship (Euros) kicks off this Friday 11th June, and with football being one of the most bet-on sports in the UK, online betting opportunities will be ramping up.
GamCare, which operates the National Gambling Helpline can reveal that during and post major sporting events there is an increase in calls to the helpline. GamCare has also found that many women gamblers are not seeking support.
England’s third-most capped player of all time and former England footballer, Karen Carney MBE, is aiming to generate conversation around the impact of gambling and encourage people to seek help through TalkBanStop.
The TalkBanStop campaign brings together gambling support charities GamCare, Gamban and GAMSTOP who together offer a combination of free tools to block access to gambling websites, to self-exclude from gambling accounts alongside support that will help those worried about their gambling to take back control.
Through its user data, GamCare has also seen a breakdown of calls from women affected by their partners gambling during and post sporting events. In the 2018 World Cup, calls to the helpline from affected others, (85% of whom are women) increased by nearly 14%. Overall calls from gamblers increased by 5% during this period.*
Research has found that 82% of women that gamble use online services via their phone or personal devices, utilising games or apps, as opposed to taking part in gambling in person (such as at a casino or betting shop).
Carney is aware of the prominence of gambling around football in particular and has seen first-hand the challenges that many women are facing. Women are more likely to hide their gambling from their significant others and are more likely to feel stigma and shame acutely, if they have issues with gambling.
Unawareness of support and treatment, and the perception that gambling problems are a ‘male issue’, has previously been a barrier for women to seek help. The possible experiences of guilt and shame about their gambling, and societal expectations of being caregivers means women may be less likely to seek help for fear of judgement.
Former Arsenal, Birmingham, Chelsea and Chicago midfielder Carney said: “Campaigns like TalkBanStop are so important in raising awareness of the free resources available to everyone out there, particularly women who have battled with gambling around sport. Ahead of the upcoming Euros, it is important we raise awareness of the support that is available.
“There is a stigma associated for women and challenges around speaking out and seeking help, so it’s key to highlight the link between gambling and sport to help these women and girls on their journey to recovery. The Euros are an exciting part of the global sporting calendar, but for some, it can prove to be a challenging time with heightened gambling opportunities as a result.”
TalkBanStop seeks to raise awareness of wider risks associated with gambling, particularly in light of football stadiums and the re-opening of pubs and restaurants which present more opportunities in which women could be put at risk of some form of abuse from those struggling with gambling problems. The TalkBanStop campaign aims to assist and tackle this problem by showing women and their families that support is out there to get the right treatment and advice for anyone who is concerned, whether for themselves or for somebody else.
Stacey Goodwin, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, is one person that has been affected by gambling. She said: “I felt alone as a female gambler. I looked for somebody or something that could take complete control. And that’s what Gamban and GAMSTOP do every day. I was able to find other women who’d been through exactly what I had and understood finally what I was talking about. And so, for the first time, I didn’t feel alone.”
GamCare has seen surges in betting emails around the Euros; surges in self-exclusion and increased calls to the National Gambling Helpline alongside referrals from the helpline that deal with cases linked to sports-betting.
Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare, says: “Gambling is increasingly accessible to women, particularly online, as it feels discrete and doesn’t involve making a special trip, for example to a betting shop.
“We want to encourage anyone worried about themselves or someone else to contact us – we can offer expert advice and arrange for them to get the support they need. We want people to feel that taking the first step, by seeking non-judgmental help from our trained advisers, is a positive move, and get the free tools and support available through TalkBanStop.
“Gambling can cause serious harms and we welcome discussion to bring this problem to the public consciousness, and to ensure we can secure sustainable funds to meet the needs of those affected.”
To find out more, visit www.talkbanstop.com
For more information contact [email protected] on 07971 563246