Thursday October 10,2013 : GAMCARE WORRIED ABOUT RISE IN YOUTHFUL GAMBLING ADDICTION
Number of young people with gambling problems increases – access to mobile facilities the cause?
The problem gambling charity Gamcare is concerned about an increase in problem gambling calls from youthful gamblers, the BBC reported Wednesday, claiming that the number of 18 to 35-year-olds contacting the organisation has risen for a third consecutive year.
GamCare told the BBC that:
* 63 percent of their calls in the past 12 months were from that age group.
* Smartphone and online betting are playing a big part in the rise of young people reporting problems.
* 8,813 people contacted GamCare for help last year – up 8.1 percent compared to 2011.
* There has been a rise each year in the 18 to 35-year-old category calling for help. The number of 18 to 35-year-olds contacting GamCare has risen by 6.5 percent in the last year from 5,215 to 5,552
* 18 to 24 year-olds make up 30 percent of all calls.
Mark Kenward, a helpline adviser at GamCare, which is funded by the gambling industry, told BBC Newsbeat that the Gamcare statistics are a snapshot of the overall problem.
Responding to a BBC enquiry, a spokesman for the British government's Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: "For the majority of people, gambling is an enjoyable pastime, but for some we know it can be a source of harm and distress.
"While we have not yet had access to the full GamCare report, we welcome any initiative that makes it easier for those with a problem to access the help they need."
Brian Wright, a director of online gambling trade body The Remote Gambling Association, says gambling is a feature of modern life and that the RGA is committed to the protection of young and vulnerable people.
"The social responsibility measures that apply to online gambling are extensive, but problem gambling is a complex area and we would never suggest that improvements cannot be made," Wright said.
"Current protections are sufficient to help most customers manage their gambling without getting into difficulties, but we are in regular contact with regulators, academies and treatment specialists such as GamCare to identify any new initiatives."