Gambling Related Financial Harm
Each year at least three quarters of callers to the National Gambling Helpline and those accessing GamCare’s treatment services report financial difficulties and two thirds mention some level of gambling debt.
About our Gambling Related Financial Harm Programme
Gambling-related financial harm (GRFH) can manifest in many ways and doesn’t only harm the gambler but their partners and families too. Someone struggling to control their gambling might look to borrow money they can’t afford to pay back, often at high interest rates, or gamble with money that was intended for household bills. They may even steal from family or friends or commit fraud to fund their gambling. For the partner or family members who might be linked to the gambler financially, it’s not just the resulting debts and financial fallout that has a negative impact.
We launched our Gambling Related Financial Harm Programme in 2019. The aim was to bring together the banking, gambling industry, gambling support and debt advice sectors for the first time, to tackle the range of financial difficulties that can be caused by gambling, through the promotion of best practice support, better identification and more effective customer support.
The key aims of the programme are to share knowledge, develop resources, and enable organisations to help affected customers as early as possible, so that harms do not escalate.
Year Two report is now available
This report details what has been achieved in Year 2 of the programme, covering the period of October 2020–December 2021.
GRFH Insight Workshops
GRFH Insight Workshops are cross-sector collaboration events for professionals and those with lived experience to address key and emerging topics relating to gambling and finances.
The GRFH Steering Group has been set up to provide strategic oversight for the Insight Workshops and the programme to promote best practice to stakeholders on the issues addressed in the workshops.
GamCare and the GRFH Steering Group meet, following these events, to synthesise workshop information and put forward key insights and recommendations to encourage a cross-sector response to drive changes forward.
You can download summaries of key insights and recommendations from the past workshops:
- GRFH in affected others
- High-risk investing and gambling
- GRFH in children and young people
- Gambling block loopholes
- Preventing Gambling Related Debt
- Supporting Clients with Gambling Related Debt
- Bank Gambling Blocks
We see these recommendations as ‘everyone’s business’ and we would like to see a cross-sector response to drive these changes forward.
If you are interested to learn more about these topics or if your organisation is already taking action to address any of these issues, please get in touch to let us know.
We organise quarterly GRFH Networking events. They give organisations an opportunity and space to share insights and learnings arising from their work to tackle gambling related financial harms and learn about the changes in this fast-evolving landscape. Participants also have a chance to network and connect with other sectors.
If you would like to be added to our mailing list and be kept up to date with details of forthcoming GRFH workshops and networking events, please sign up here.
The costs of Gambling-Related Financial Harm
Someone struggling to control their gambling might look to borrow money they can’t afford to pay back, often at high interest rates, or gamble with money that was intended for household bills. They may even steal from family or friends or commit fraud to fund their gambling.
For the partner or family members who might be linked to the gambler financially, it is not just the resulting debts and financial fallout that has a negative impact.
Trust can quickly break down, which is often hard to repair. Such pressures often affect the mental health of those involved and, in many cases, the overall strain means children are caught up in it too.
GRFH Toolkit – for professionals
Our Gambling Related Financial Harm Toolkit, launched in September 2020, was developed out of a need for all sectors to address gambling harms consistently – a gap we identified in the first year of the programme. The GRFH Toolkit is designed to offer improved outcomes for customers – giving businesses the tools to offer quality customer communications about gambling risks and the support available so the issues can be addressed as early as possible. It was developed in collaboration with all key sectors and people with lived experience.
The GRFH Toolkit is made up of the following parts:
Core Messages and Self-Help toolkit
This toolkit summarises key messages which organisations should adopt when communicating with customers about gambling harms. The Self-Help toolkit lists four key tools to recommend to customers who want to control their gambling.
See how the government’s Money Helper and Barclays bank used this document to inform their gambling support content.
Timely Interactions with Customers to Prevent GRFH
This resource is a call to action for all sectors to adopt a more proactive approach in normalising conversations about gambling affordability and potential financial harms with their customers. It provides recommendations on the steps your organisation should take to proactively engage your customers and prevent GRFH.
These flowcharts are one-page guidelines for frontline staff working in financial services, debt and money advice and the gambling sector. They contain key information and guide professionals working in these industries to provide effective and sensitive support and signposting to customers affected by GRFH.
Please use the version relevant to your sector:
A Framework for Continuous Learning
This resource helps organisations plan staff training and learning so to continually improve staff knowledge about GRFH.