Gamble Aware announced that it would be funding additional £3.9m for treatment of problem gambling. The funds will be allocated for the expansion of the National Gambling Treatment Service.
Of the total £3.9m £2.35m will go towards expanding infrastructure for in-person gambling addiction treatment in the UK and £705,000 will go to the National Gambling Helpline.
Another £435,000 would be spent on making computerized Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (cCBT) accessible to people. The remaining £438,000 will go towards developing a peer-to-peer gambling addiction treatment program which involves recovering gambling addicts interacting with those suffering from compulsive gambling issues.
Chief Executive of GambleAware Marc Etches, said: “Today’s announcement reflects a commitment by GambleAware to take a strategic approach to commissioning treatment services, to give people the help that they need to tackle the hidden addiction of problem gambling, and to improve the quality of life for them and their families.
“This significant expansion of the existing National Gambling Treatment Service demonstrates the shared commitment between GambleAware and GamCare, as commissioner and prime provider respectively, to make a real difference to people’s lives, by reducing barriers to treatment and increasing the capacity in the treatment system.”
While it is a welcome step as gambling addiction is at an all-time high in the UK, for gamble aware it has been tough securing funding for its program. Reports suggest that top gambling operators are not paying enough towards their social responsibility.
According to the gambling legislation which came in 2005, gambling operators are expected to donate 0.1 percent of their revenues towards gambling awareness programs. However, it is found that top bookmakers and gambling operators in the UK have not paid enough. As such in their previous fiscal, Gamble Aware fell £400,000 short of its target.
Talking about the new announcement, Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive of GamCare said: “GamCare is delighted to have developed a collaborative approach with GambleAware to support the expansion of the National Gambling Treatment Service. This funding will mean we can introduce broader accessibility, availability, and choice for those harmed by gambling.
“GamCare and its network of regional partners provide services which significantly improve the quality of life of those harmed by gambling, and we will continue to develop our services to ensure that they can grow sustainably and offer the right support at the right time to as many people as possible,” she added.