Back in April, the UK government announced a new “National Strategy” to fight against gambling addiction. It came after numerous studies that indicate rates of problem gambling are higher here than ever before. This week, a new UK problem gambling clinic officially opened its doors.
The National Health Service (NHS) clinic is opening with children in mind. It aims to support those between the ages of 13 and 25. Let’s take a quick look at how this will help to curb gambling addiction, and why exactly the government has opened this facility.
Details of the New UK Problem Gambling Clinic
For the past six months, lawmakers in the UK have begun implementing new laws towards the gambling industry. It’s no secret that problem gambling rates here are continuing to rise. According to a number of reports, the number of gambling addicts in the UK is somewhere between 350,000 to 450,000. Many of these problem gamblers are young.
The government wants to change this. In February of this year, the Gambling Commission announced a new set of advertising restrictions. Online gambling companies here can no longer promote their services to anyone appearing to be under the age of 25.
Lawmakers didn’t stop here. Later that month, they announced a plan to ban credit cards for gambling. In April, the government began working on a “National Strategy” to completely overhaul the current set of gambling regulations.
The government made it clear they wanted to tackle the issue of gambling addiction. This week, the NHS has opened a new UK problem gambling clinic in London. What will this establishment aim to accomplish?
New Gambling Clinic Helping Young People
According to the UK Gambling Commission, more than 55,000 children in the UK suffer from gambling addiction. This group is between the ages of 13 and 25. More than 450,000 children here claim to gamble on a regular basis.
The NHS claims this is the first of 14 clinics to open across the country. Simon Stevens, chief executive of the NHS, explains the government’s body’s decision to open this first clinic.
“This action shows just how seriously the NHS takes the threat of gambling addiction, even in young people. The links between problem gambling and stress, depression and mental health problems are growing and there are too many stories of lives lost and families destroyed.”
A number of prominent politicians are pleased to see this UK problem gambling clinic finally open. Carolyn Harris, Labour MP for Swansea East, feels it’s long overdue. She argues that gambling operators spend millions on marketing, yet just a fraction of their revenue on helping those with gambling addictions.
This clinic will offer face-to-face treatment for problem gamblers. It will offer specialized help for younger gamblers. Are more UK gambling regulations coming our way this year?
Future Plans to Combat Gambling Addiction in the UK
As we mentioned earlier, the government has plans to open an additional 13 UK problem gambling clinic establishments across the country. The next one will open up in Leeds. Each of these will offer treatment to gamblers across all age groups.
The government here is still working to establish a new set of gambling laws. The aforementioned “National Strategy” is still being established. There are some in the gaming industry that hope these restrictions are not too severe.
In recent months we’ve seen a number of European countries implement strict regulations over their internet gambling markets. Sweden, in particular, has passed some of the strictest gambling laws in the world. Some of the top online gambling sites in Europe are being forced to question whether to stay in the market.
For now, the NHS is taking concrete steps to help those with problem gambling issues. It’s a great thing to see.
Are you happy to see this UK problem gambling clinic open? Will this help to lower gambling addiction rates in the country? Let us know in the comment section below!
A longtime sports and gambling enthusiast, Kevin looks to present up-to-date and reliable information for readers. If he’s not writing, he’s probably watching MMA or playing blackjack. ...
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