Gambling harm solution platform Gambless announces today the launch of a new “Don’t Hide Your Pain” (DHYP) awareness campaign against gambling addiction.
The launch of the campaign coincides with the start of the Safer Gambling Week, an initiative brought forward by the Betting and Gaming Council and aimed at promoting safer gambling in the UK and Ireland.
The DHYP campaign will last approx. three months and will cover various aspects of gambling, highlighting the risks involved in such activity.
The campaign aims to prevent gambling harm, conveying its message mainly to younger individuals in Britain and Italy. The two countries, despite being among the first markets to regulate online gambling, share staggering low levels of awareness.
In the UK, it’s estimated that only between 0.6 and 3% of problem gamblers receive treatment. Similar percentages are seen in Italy, where of the 1,300,000 estimated pathological gamblers, only about 12,000 get help each year.
The campaign messages focus on the fact that one does not need to be a problem gambler to suffer gambling harm, thus resonating with a larger audience.
The first batch of promo assets will begin circulating on various social media starting this weekend, putting the spotlight on some of the clear signs of problematic gambling behaviour to look out for, and will be accompanied by the #dhyp hashtag.
Below some comments on the initiative from Gambless CEO, Maurizio Savino:
Why the need of an awareness campaign?
A recent report from the National Gambling Treatment Service confirmed that the awareness on problem gambling in the UK is still very low. It’s estimated that less than 3% of all pathological gamblers receive help. That’s an extremely low figure, even compared to that of alcohol abusers who seek help (15-25%).
Making awareness campaigns about gambling addiction is not easy. It’s a delicate topic and we have seen recently how campaigns can easily face criticisms. However, there is a dire need to do more.
Why borrowing a famous meme’s expression?
We don’t have the resources of the big charities out there. So, with our small budget, we had to be creative.
Memes are one of the greatest ways of communication of our times. One may dismiss them as silly or shallow – a theory I strongly disagree with. In my opinion memes can be very deep and carry important meanings that one can relate to, stop and think for a couple of seconds. They can raise much more awareness than a distracting storyline.
Memes are also extremely popular among young adults, which are one of the categories at higher risk of gambling harm as well.
What does Gambless do?
Gambless is a mobile application, the first to provide psychological support to problem gamblers with an innovative and holistic approach on mental health.
Available both on Google Play and App Store, it provides several self-help tools and it offers a number of supportive programs specifically designed by our team of expert psychologists, using various techniques including CBT and Gestalt psychology.
Reception from users has been overwhelming so far. We saw more than 1,000 downloads in just two months since launch, with an upward trend. At current rates we welcome about 1 new gambler each hour through our virtual doors, which are open 24/7.
If these numbers might seem small, one must consider that the UK National Gambling Treatment services help about 9,000 individuals per year, with first appointment waiting times being even over of 104 days for residential treatment. Therefore, such remote services must be taken seriously as an immediate alternative and complementary way of support.
Gambless has the ability to reach many more people in need, with no scalability issues whatsoever. With a bit more awareness and cooperation from the industry, we could really make a difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals.
What’s in store for 2021?
We want to help as many problem gamblers as possible, so we will continue to raise awareness on the topic, we plan to rollout new languages, and we hope to cooperate with gambling firms and regulators in order to make gambling truly safer.