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Women Gamble Too!

9th March 2017

In honour of International Women’s Day this week, Susanne is raising awareness about our approach to helping women struggling with problem gambling.

There is still a general belief that gambling, and therefore problem gambling, is a solely male space. Not so! 41% of the gamblers contacting us during 2015/16 were women. But the fact that hardly anyone is talking about this means that it can feel like an impossible task to open up and get the support you need.

Over the last few years we have seen a gradual rise in the number of women reaching out to us for help with problem gambling, either via the National Gambling HelpLine or through our counselling services.

According to the latest survey from the Gambling Commission, 44% of women in England, Scotland and Wales gambled in the previous four weeks. This is a 3% rise from the previous year. While we acknowledge that gambling can be a fun activity and that most people will not need our services, for some people, gambling can cause harm.

For many women, a compulsion to gamble may be influenced by difficult emotional experiences in their past. Gambling gives a chance to temporarily escape from difficult thoughts and feelings. It can also offer women some 'me' time. 

Online gambling is generally more appealing to women than more 'traditional' forms of gambling, like going to a betting shop. Women often juggle multiple roles and responsibilities, but the internet offers 24/7 access to gambling activities.   Online gambling is also usually quite solitary, and that makes it easier to hide if a problem develops.

As a woman, you might imagine that treatment for a gambling problem is aimed at men and delivered by men. Here at GamCare, we have both male and female counsellors on the team and we can support anyone affected by gambling problems. If you’d rather see a female counsellor, all you have to do is ask.

Our counsellors can give you the safe, confidential space you need to work through the issues and situations connected to problem gambling in your life, and we will work with you to find the best methods of dealing with these situations going forward. This service can be provided either face-to-face or online.

If gambling is affecting you, we’re here for you, no matter what. We also offer a moderated Forum and daily Chatrooms to support your recovery.

On Friday 24th March we will also be running a female-only Chatroom, from 2pm – 3pm. Find out more here.

You can also take a look at our support leaflet for women.

Susanne recently contributed to a new publication examining international perspectives of women and gambling. Find out more here.