GambleAware this week published the findings of research it commissioned to better understand the experiences of women and gambling. The report, which is the first of its kind to include any quantitative data on women and gambling specifically, follows the publication of the Treatment Needs and Gap Analysis research earlier this year.
The research, which was carried out by YouGov, found that more than a third (35%) of female gamblers, who experience high levels of harm and have a PGSI score of 8+, are from a BAME (Black and/or Minority Ethnic) background, compared to 12% of the overall female gambling population. This same pattern is also seen amongst male gamblers, with 29% of men who experience harm from gambling coming from a BAME background, compared to 12% of men overall.
When looking specifically at ‘affected others’ (those who experience harm as a result of someone else’s gambling) it was found that eight percent of women fit into this category and 16% of these are from a BAME background. Researchers also found that women are more negatively impacted by the gambling of a close family member than men.
For example, 35% of women, compared to just 9% of men, are negatively affected by the gambling of a spouse or partner and 88% of women, in comparison to 75% of men, are negatively impacted by the gambling of a parent. Contrastingly, men are more likely to be affected by the gambling of a friend or flatmate than women, with 33% of men citing this, compared to just 9% of women.
When looking specifically at treatment and support for women gamblers, researchers found that a higher proportion of women than men cited stigma as a reason for not receiving treatment. Two in five (39%) female gamblers said feeling embarrassed or not wanting people to find out about their gambling was a key barrier to accessing treatment, support or advice to help cut down on their gambling, compared to just over one in five (22%) male gamblers. However, knowing that support and treatment would be confidential is particularly important for female problem gamblers, with one in five (20%) saying this would motivate them to seek help.
Commenting on the research findings, Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware said:
“This research indicates that women, particularly in the capacity as an affected other, experience gambling harms in different ways to men and this report is an important first step in understanding those differences. This research was commissioned to help treatment providers, such as those operating via the National Gambling Treatment Service, address any barriers people may face when it comes to accessing help and support for their gambling and it is essential that services are flexible and meet the needs of individuals.”
Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare said:
“This report has highlighted not only the challenges that need to be overcome, but also the opportunities available to service providers to help increase take-up of treatment and support to help reduce and prevent gambling harms among women. Across our treatment network, in line with the National Gambling Treatment Service, we are working with women to better understand the barriers they may face when it comes to seeking advice or help for their gambling, or experience as an affected other, so that we can continue to ensure they have access the services they need, regardless of their gender or background.”
GambleAware hosted a webinar outlining the key findings of the research and the full report can be viewed on GambleAware’s website here.