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Angel Hristov January 31, 2024 3 min read
UK’s National Gambling Helpline Received 52,000+ Calls in 2023
GamCare saw a “landmark climb” in people reaching out to the helpline in effort to start their journey of recovery
The National Gambling Helpline has received a record-breaking number of calls in 2023. According to GamCare’s official announcement, a total of 52,370 calls and online chats were made to the helpline.
This figure represents a 24% year-on-year increase and also highlights the increased visibility of the services offered by the helpline. In addition, GamCare mentioned that August was the busiest month in terms of number of calls. In December, on the other hand, GamCare recorded its busiest Christmas yet, remarking a 39% year-on-year increase.
GamCare noted that a lot of the calls during the holidays were made by people concerned about someone else’s gambling, as well as by people who struggled to watch television with their loved ones because of the gambling ads. Another 117 calls were by people who were concerned about the cost-of-living crisis.
The launch of the helpline’s WhatsApp channel also improved its visibility, attracting 6,000 additional interactions.
In 2023, almost 7,000 Gamban blocking software licenses were registered for free through TalkBanStop, a partnership between GamCare, Gamban and GAMSTOP.
The “Landmark Climb” in People Reaching Out Is a Good Thing
GamCare’s head of remote support services, Samantha Turnton, said that her team is used to seeing small increases in the volume of people contacting the helpline each year. However, in 2023, GamCare saw a “landmark climb” in people reaching out to the helpline in effort to start their journey of recovery.
Turnton said that the figure may seem concerning but noted that the silver lining is that more and more people reach out at an earlier stage, making intervention easier.
This is an invaluable step to prevent gambling harm from escalating further down the line, and we encourage anyone to get in touch if they feel ready to discuss their relationship with it, no matter what stage they are at.Samantha Turnton, head of remote support services, GamCare
Turnton added that her team is always there to help.
Anna Hargrave, GambleAware’s chief commissioning and strategy officer, also commented on the matter, saying that the increase in calls comes in the wake of the launch of the National Gambling Support Network. According to her, this clearly demonstrates the need for and importance of prevention and early intervention services.
These support services need to be prioritized within the new system once the statutory gambling levy is introduced, as we know that swift intervention is essential to help people in the early stages of experiencing gambling harm, before it becomes even more serious.Anna Hargrave, chief commissioning and strategy officer, GambleAware
In the meantime, Ygam, one of Britain’s biggest gambling harm charities, is celebrating its 10th anniversary year.