GamCare has described the last 12 months as ‘an incredible period of change, growth, and of course, recent challenge’ following several major developments for both itself and the industry.
Upon publishing its Trustees Annual Review, the gambling harm awareness charity identified the upcoming 2005 Gambling Act review, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) prohibiting credit card payments for gaming, and the resignation of Neil McArthur as UKGC CEO as significant moments.
GamCare experienced a 9% increase in contact with 42,000 responses made over the year. The number of treatment sessions rose by 14% to 55,000 and the charity organised 15,000 professionals to work with ‘at-risk individuals’ and provide gambling awareness training, a 64% increase in 2019/20.
The charity’s helpline received ‘more calls than ever’ throughout the year and 95% of its users said they would recommend the service, with over 1.5m people visiting its website.
“Despite the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, this year we have reached more people than ever,” said GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings. “For those harmed by gambling, this was a particularly challenging year, in which the isolation, stress and money worries may have been amplified by the pandemic.”
Another key part of the report was the organisation’s partnership with Gamban and GAMSTOP, which saw the trio launch the TalkBanStop 12-month initiative in the spring of 2021 to promote GamCare’s support services, Gamban’s spending control tools and GAMSTOP’s self-exclusion scheme.
Highlighting the campaign’s reach, GamCare detailed that the pilot was promoted to over five million people whilst adding that over 55% of people taking out a Gamban license chose the maximum period of time.
Gamban founder, Jack Symons, added: “Working in partnership with GamCare on the TalkBanStop initiative has been a very positive experience. GamCare’s dedication to supporting individuals and affected others experiencing gambling-related harm, along with a high level of focus, strategy and wisdom, has made the process of delivering the TalkBanStop initiative relatively straightforward.”