GamCare celebrates year-1 progress of NGSN

GamCare has revealed that thousands of people have been supported through the National Gambling Support Network, as the initiative celebrates its one-year anniversary.

The charity also highlighted the GambleAware-commissioned network’s short waiting times, with people seeking support for problem gambling being offered a treatment session in three and a half days on average between October-December 2023.

Anna Hargrave, Chief Commissioning Officer at GambleAware, stated: “The National Gambling Support Network is designed to prevent the escalation of harms associated with gambling. 

“The network provides people with easy access to treatment and support wherever they are across Great Britain. It is heartening to hear the positive impact the services have on people’s lives and the difference they make.”

The data also shows that organisations within the Network – which is highlighting the free support available ahead of this weekend’s Grand National – contacted those seeking treatment in just 1.3 days on average in the last three months of 2023.

New data from the National Gambling Helpline also shows that there were more calls and online chats made in January 2024 than any previous month on record – the sixth time the record has broken since the beginning of 2023 – with 4,816 calls and online chats made across the month.

Hargrave added: “These essential third sector providers play a vital role for people across the country, and we look forward to continuing to share this expertise and experience alongside the NHS under the new system once a levy is introduced.”

Additional data from the National Gambling Helpline stated that over 28,000 people have been supported via brief interventions – conversations of 20 minutes or more – since April 2023.

Additionally, a recent YouGov survey of over 5,000 UK participants revealed that people are likely to choose weekly support sessions with a trained professional as an effective way to reduce gambling harms. 

Out of the alternative options, two-thirds of people believe that sessions with trained professionals such as these would be an effective way to reduce harm caused by gambling. 

Six in 10 also said that tools to block access to gambling websites would be an effective way to control their gambling, and 58% chose speaking to a family member.

David Quinti, who was supported by organisations within the National Gambling Support Network, concluded: “Having accessed support through Beacon Counselling Trust years ago myself, I know the positive impact these services can have in rebuilding people’s lives after experiencing gambling harm. 

“Talking to a professional each week about what I was experiencing was an enormous step to help understand my relationship with gambling and, ultimately, help me recover from it. I would urge anyone who may be struggling with gambling to reach out.”