Subscribe to AIP newsletter
Sing up for exclusive casino bonus, offers, and the latest news directly in your inbox.
The risk of financial ruin is one of the main problems associated with problem gambling. Often, players go into serious debt due to gambling problems. Gamcare has been focusing on ways to help those impacted by gambling-related debt.
Recently, the organization published a series of recommendations addressing ways financial organizations can help those who have experienced gambling-related harm. The proposals include training and tool upgrade recommendations to help better assist problem gamblers experiencing financial harm from gambling.
Last week, GamCare issued a report that outlines recommendations to help organizations address gambling-related debt. Back in November, GamCare held the second in a series of workshops investigating gambling-related debt. The purpose of the November workshop was to determine ways that various sectors can support clients with gambling-related debt.
According to a report from GamCare, 6 in 10 people receiving gambling treatment have gambling-related debt. Of those people, approximately 2% are insolvent. This is through either an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) or bankruptcy. Problem gamblers struggle to control debt, and this can lead to homelessness.
During the workshop, a panel of experts spoke to attendees. The panel included representatives from Lloyds Bank and Bristol University. Other panel members included representatives from debt advice groups like PayPlan, Citizens Advice, and Step Change. Other speakers included people that have lived through gambling-related debt.
The report from GamCare has three parts. It includes recommendations for support and partnerships, training, and tools. It contains recommendations for the credit sector, debt advice sector, and gambling support sector. There are also cross-sector recommendations in the report.
The support and partnerships recommendations focus on modifying policies at an organizational level to help identify problem gambling and provide support to players. These changes include offering help or information about help resources to potential problem gamblers.
For training recommendations, sectors were given guidance on training staff to increase awareness about problem gambling. Among the recommendations are suggestions to train staff on identifying potential problem gambling and addressing the concerns with clients. The goal is to curb the activity leading to debt problems rather than just figuring out how to pay the debt.
Regarding recommendations for tools, GamCare is advising sectors to modify or implement tools to help identify potential problem gamblers. Suggestions include automatic reviews for clients that have a history of problem gambling. Also, Gamcare suggests that creditors offer additional help to problem gamblers. This includes providing longer-term payment options or suggesting debt advice programs.
Many of the cross-sector recommendations involve forming partnerships to provide support and help to those that may be experiencing problems with gambling. One common recommendation was the use of lived experience voices to help players feel more at ease and receptive to receiving help.
The ultimate goal of these recommendations is to get debt-related sectors to become secondary partners in helping problem gamblers to seek help. Problem gambling can be a vicious cycle of debt. Players can go into debt and pay it off, but if they don’t address their gambling addictions, they will go back into debt.
GamCare hopes that debt-related sectors will add or modify their policies to help gamblers get the help they need while helping reduce the harm caused by gambling. These recommendations are not binding to anyone in the sectors. However, GamCare hopes they will take proactive action to help those experiencing gambling-related financial harm.