September 21, 2023 3 min read


GamCare: The Percentage of People Struggling with Online Slots Has Increased

Colin Walsh said that people wrongly assume sports betting and horse racing are the most harmful verticals

GamCare data shows that, concerningly, the percentage of online casino players struggling with slot machine-related gambling problems, has increased significantly over the past five years. According to the independent UK charity, three in five people (60%) who sought help last year cited slot games as one of their preferred verticals.

For reference, the percentage of people who contacted the National Gambling Helpline in 2018-19, citing slot games as one of their main activities, was 34%.

The data comes amid calls for the introduction of maximum stake limits for online slot games. The measure, currently discussed by the United Kingdom’s government, seeks to protect consumers from harm caused by online gaming.

Believed by many to be a riskier vertical than traditional casino gambling, iGaming was cited as the reason for the problems of 73% of the 5,660 people who contacted the National Gambling Helpline last year.

Other Online Verticals Can Also Harm Players  

Online slot machines weren’t the only vertical causing problems for players. According to GamCare, the growing popularity of emerging verticals has caused problems for many people. For example, the proportion of people who had challenges because of betting exchanges increased from 0.3% to 7.6% in five years.

In the meantime, the proportion of players harmed by online trading and crypto markets has increased from 0.02% to 2.17% in the same period of time.

At the same time, the proportion of people encountering difficulties with online sports betting has decreased from 34% in 2018-19 to 20% in 2022-23. Despite this figure, many people still wrongly believe that gambling harm is primarily associated with wagering on sporting events or horse races.

Colin Walsh, GamCare’s lived experience manager, commented on the trends. He noted that, in the past few years have seen people start gambling on sports and eventually transition to other areas, such as online gambling. However, the availability of iGaming makes it easy for players to lose sight of the time and money they spend.

The data highlights that it is now disproportionately online slots that are the main challenge for many people who call the National Gambling Helpline.

Colin Walsh, lived experience manager, GamCare

Walsh added that he knows how difficult online gambling can be and how isolated a harmed person can feel once “caught in a negative cycle.” However, he also knows that gambling harm is something that people can get through. Walsh reminded players that GamCare offers free help to anyone struggling with harm.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *