Three responsible gaming awareness organisations, GamCare, Gamban and Gamstop, have formed a partnership to create the TalkBanStop campaign which launches as a 12-month pilot, offering three free tools to help people stop gambling.
The pilot will highlight the benefits of combining free support and practical tools in helping people to stop gambling via GamCare’s National Gambling Helpline, Gamban’s blocking software which can deny access to thousands of gambling websites and apps, and Gamstop’s self-exclusion programme that prevents users from creating new accounts and accessing existing ones with all UK online betting operators.
The TalkBanStop web address will take users straight to where they can contact each service, as well as offering additional tips on how to block gambling through banks.
The campaign is backed by ex-footballer and recovering gambling addict Michael Chopra, who recently spoke with TalkGen Director Chris Gilham about their shared experience of gambling addiction and their respective roads to recovery in a new film.
The Christmas period poses a heightened risk to those struggling with gambling, and GamCare warns that the pandemic has only increased common risk factors including isolation, boredom or money worries.
Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare, said: “After a particularly challenging year when many have been impacted by job losses and reduced income, Christmas can be a difficult time for those struggling to stop gambling.
“The TalkBanStop. campaign sends a message of hope to those who are struggling with gambling but don’t know how to start their recovery journey, by providing free tools and support that give breathing space to reflect on what’s going on.
“The first step is simply talking to someone. There is support out there to help you make empowered choices about your recovery, and we urge anyone suffering in silence to be inspired by Michael and Chris. They show it can happen to anyone, but if they can get through it, so can you.”
Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission CEO, added: “Christmas can be a challenging time for those experiencing gambling related harm so we are particularly pleased with this collaborative approach to offer joined up and comprehensive services to consumers.
“We are also happy to approve funding of the blocking software pilot and evaluation element of this work through the distribution of regulatory settlement money to properly identify what works.”