With lockdown restrictions easing and a summer of sport ahead, staff at British gambling support charity GamCare say the full impact of the Euros is still unknown and are preparing for an increase in calls to their helpline over the coming months.
Regular gamblers are known to have spent more time and money on the activity during the lockdown. The charity is concerned that this, combined with a summer of sport, could heighten the vulnerability of some gamblers and is calling for increased support for people at risk of gambling-related harms, including young people and recovered gamblers.
Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive at GamCare, said: “We know that people who use our services find it difficult to enjoy live sport, especially football tournaments like the Euros, in their recovery. With so many sports events over the summer, coupled with the difficulties people have experienced in the pandemic, we’re concerned we may see a spike in helpline calls over the coming months. We urge anyone who is struggling with gambling to contact us, whether it’s their own or someone else’s gambling. We want you to know we are here for you, we understand, and we can help you. If you think someone you know needs support, please get in touch.
“The vast majority of those reaching out for help are gambling online. The experiences of our helpline callers and our research consistently show this to be an area of concern for us and the people that use our services. Our latest helpline and treatment data shows online gambling has increased over the pandemic. We will certainly monitor this trend to see if it continues as lockdown is lifted. This is an important detail as the government continues with the review of the 2005 Gambling Act, working to bring about effective change to protect those who need it most.”
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