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Gambling Related Financial Harm

The relationship between finances and gambling is interdependent: debt can be a driver of problem gambling as much as gambling can be a cause of debt. 66% of callers to the National Gambling Helpline disclose that they are in some sort of debt and many continue to gamble in order to pay off debts or cover the costs of everyday living.

The banking and gambling industries, as well as both the gambling treatment and the money advice and support sectors, have responded to different aspects of this challenge in different ways. For example, some banks are now offering customers “gambling blocks”, the ability to switch off online gambling transactions. Some debt advice services are offering specialist guidance for gambling related debt. PayPlan, one of the UK’s leading debt help and advice providers, report they’ve seen a 280% increase in the number of people who voluntarily disclosed a gambling addiction in the last three years.

A problem gambler will interact with many more services and messages that impact their journey with gambling related financial harm. However, there has been little coordination to ensure the messaging is consistent across the journey. In response to this, GamCare have brought together key sectors, including banking, debt advice, gambling treatment, and the gambling industry in a cross-sector approach to develop new initiatives and resources.

GamCare will work with a range of partners and stakeholders from all four sectors to produce:

  • a new best practice framework for identification of and support for customers in financial difficulty as a result of gambling;
  • a toolkit focused on supporting customer needs when in financial difficulty;
  • a new cross-sector training programme;
  • consistent and actively updated advice.

The project aims to bring together what effective work is already being done across these industries, and encourage consistency of approach and application. Through maximising the effectiveness of these efforts, the project aims to produce a set of best practice standards.

The Advisory Panel, which will steer the direction of the activity, includes representatives from HSBC, NatWest, Santander, Citizens Advice, Playtech, The Remote Gambling Association, the Senet Group, the Money and Pensions Service, and PayPlan, as well as individuals with lived experience of gambling related financial harm.

The programme is supported by online gaming and sports betting software company Playtech and has been initiated after a gambling industry collaboration in 2018 assembled by Playtech, William Hill and SkyBet.

If you’d like more information or you’d like to share how your organisation tackles gambling related financial harm, please email Raminta Diliso on [email protected]

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