Gambling addiction in the UK has been increasing indiscriminately amongst the children. Research suggests that in the past two years, gambling addiction amongst children has increased by 400 percent.
In their bid to tackle increasing gambling addiction amongst children in the UK, NHS has announced to open first gambling clinics for the treatment of gambling addicted children.
Over 55,000 children are having compulsive gambling issues in the UK. The increase in remote and mobile gambling along with gambling adverts targeting children are being blamed for increasing gambling addiction amongst children.
NHS will launch its first National Problem Gambling Clinic for children in London. The clinic will offer help to children aged 13 to 25.
Earlier in May, the UK Gambling Commission introduced a mandatory age verification to curb underage betting.
According to the plan laid out by the NHS, there will be a total of 14 new clinics which would be opened.
A total of 14 new NHS clinics will be opened, starting with the NHS Northern Gambling Service in Leeds this summer, followed by clinics in Manchester and Sunderland.
Simon Stevens, the NHS England chief executive, said ““This action shows just how seriously the NHS takes the threat of gambling addiction, even in young people, but we need to be clear – tackling mental ill health caused by addiction is everyone’s responsibility – especially those firms that directly contribute to the problem.””
“This is an industry that splashes £1.5 billion on marketing and advertising campaigns, much of it now pumped out online and through social media, but it has been spending just a fraction of that helping customers and their families deal with the direct consequences of addiction.
“The sums just don’t add up, and that is why as well as voluntary action it makes sense to hold open the possibility of a mandatory levy if experience shows that’s what’s needed.”