Saturday, 17 August, 2019

First Clinic For Child Gambling Addicts To Open In UK

Tough luck Swiss to block foreign-based gambling sites from July 1st NHS to open first ever gambling clinic for children
Anna Jefferson | 26 June, 2019, 07:27

I have seen first hand the important work that these specialist clinics do and I am pleased that the NHS is expanding its support for young people.

The Sunderland Clinic forms part of the NHS launch of 14 gambling harm-specific clinics across the United Kingdom, developed with the aim of identifying and tackling "problem gambling behaviours" amongst younger individuals.

Betting firms could be taxed to pay for addiction treatment, the head of the NHS has warned, as he launches a new service to help children with gambling problems.

AS part of the move up to 14 new clinics are scheduled to be opening, beginning with the NHS Northern Gambling Service in Leeds this summer, which is set to be followed by Manchester and Sunderland.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive for the NHS in England, reportedly told The Guardian that the gambling industry spends approximately £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) every year on advertising and marketing campaigns but is shelling out just a fraction of this amount on helping people deal with their addictions.

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Claire Murdoch, NHS England's national director for mental health, stated: "This has the potential to be a major turning point and it is all about making sure the NHS does everything it can to help people of all ages, who are seriously addicted to gambling".

Addressing health concerns, last week the governances of bet365, William Hill Plc, Flutter Entertainment, Sky Bet and GVC Holdings sent a joint communication to UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright (DCMS), committing to 'voluntary contributions of 1% of gross-gaming-yield revenues' funding UK problem gambling addiction, treatment and research initiatives for a period of 5-years. The National Problem Gambling Clinic in London will also offer specialist help for children and young people aged 13 to 25.

Some 5% of 11-16-year-olds had spent their own money on online gambling in the past 12 months, with 6% of those using a parent or guardian's account.

The development of new clinics should give people with gambling problems, faster access to specialist, evidence-based services.

Of those, around one in three said they had purchased and opened "loot boxes" in a computer game or app. Wes Himes, of the Remote Gambling Association, said firms have helped "provide free treatment, support and advice services" for more than 20 years.

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