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Young people with gambling problems suffer in silence


Gambling charity GamCare believes not enough young people know where to turn when they have a gambling problem, leaving them to suffer in silence.
In 2013-2014 GamCare received about 3,000 calls for help from 18-24 year olds gripped by some kind of gambling problem, but Britain’s leading social research agency, NatCen, estimated that there are about 83,000 problem gamblers in the UK aged 18-24.

73,321 of the 83,000 young problem gamblers identified in 2013 were men with 10,083 women. GamCare believes only about 10% of young people with gambling problems get specialist help.

Figures show the gambling charity has had a substantial rise in calls over the last few years -from 2,608 in 2010 to 3,001 in 2014.

London has a National Problem Gambling Clinic which deals specifically with gambling addiction. People usually refer themselves or can be referred by a GP. According to figures it released recently, of 2,177 people who have been referred there over the last three years, just over a third were under 30. In the clinic the average debt for those under-30s is more than £10,000 when they arrive at the clinic, but they've lost on average a total of £60,000 on gambling overall.

Simon Perfitt from Rethink Gambling said:

"The reasons people with problems fail to seek help are complex

"They include a number of factors such as a lack of knowledge about the different help options available and a low awareness of opportunities for seeking help."

The Gambling Commission, a government body which regulates gambling in Great Britain said:

“All organisations must have measures in place to minimise any harm caused by gambling.

"These measures include having information readily available to customers on how to gamble responsibly and where they can get help if they think they have a problem."

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