March 6, 2024 3 min read


West Midlands Gamblers Are Exposed to Higher Risks of Harm

Former problem players advised struggling gamblers to reach out

A new GambleAware study shows that people in the West Midlands are experiencing more harm than the rest of Britain. As reported by the BBC, the charity said that gamblers in the region are 25% more likely to struggle with their gambling habits.

The latest figures show that approximately 168,000 adults in the region gamble in a way that disrupts their normal lives and damages their relationships. GambleAware added that the situation is the most dire in Coventry where a whopping 5.1% of all adults experience gambling harm. The levels of problem gambling in Birmingham and Sandwell, meanwhile, stand at 4.5% and 4% respectively.

In addition, the research showed that representatives of minority groups are more than two times more likely to experience problem gambling than Caucasian Brits. This is in spite of minority players’ lower chance of having gambled in the past four weeks.

In addition, 28% of minority representatives believe that gambling is embarrassing and would shame their community. For comparison, only 9% of the white British respondents believe that.

Gambling Stigma Is a Huge Problem

Luckily, there are now multiple campaigns that seek to promote recovery, safer play and/or self-exclusion. Many of these initiatives are backed by former addicts who have now recovered or are on the path to recovery.

Bianca Colclough, a woman from Staffordshire shared her story, reminiscing about her past gambling problems. She felt ashamed to gamble and tried to hide it from others but eventually came to understand that opening up is the first step to recovery.

Colclough advised others to seek help, promising them that they would find it.  

Speaking of shame, gambling stigma continues to be a major problem the industry faces. Because of this, many people refuse to open up and seek the help they need. GambleAware believes that approximately three in four people experiencing harm would prefer not to talk about it to their loved ones.  

As a result, problem gambling treatment charities are now seeking to tackle this stigma and make sure that problem players reach out. As part of GambleAware’s initiative to relieve harm in the West Midlands, the charity installed a billboard at St Martins Square in Birmingham that reads “Gambling clouded everything I did.”

Dr Joanne Lloyd, associate professor and gambling harms expert at the University of Wolverhampton, emphasized the need to understand stigma and its relation to gambling harm. She highlighted that people should not be afraid to talk about their problems and should know that reaching out is one of the best steps they can take.

In other news, GambleAware recently came under fire for allegedly spreading misinformation.  


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.

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