Figures taken from the NHS’s National Problem Gambling Clinic have revealed that despite getting themselves into thousands of pounds of debts, young people suffering with gambling addictions aren’t seeking help because they simply don’t know where to turn.
Shockingly, a third of problem gamblers (where addition causes serious disruption or harm) are aged under 30 and by the time they do eventually seek help, are on average, £10,000 in debt.
As confirmed by the Chief Executive of the charity, GamCare, one of the biggest problems with gambling addictions is that they can very easily go undetected because there are no physical or obvious signs. Dirk Hansen commented:
“It’s often a secret addiction, it’s not visible like other problems and people don’t want others to know that they have this problem. Some of the money they are using to gamble they may have got from their parents and their parents may not be aware. Sometimes we have students calling here saying they are using their student loan to gamble with.”
Worryingly, the rise of online gambling has not only made the activity much more accessible to everyone, but it’s now easier than ever to hide a problem. Even just a few years ago it might become obvious that someone has a problem if they’re frequently leaving the house for no apparent reason or being spotted in the bookies on regular occasions. Being able to hide behind a computer screen these days however means that people can hide their identities very easily, convince family and partners that they’re working or doing school work and even more worryingly, have access to gambling 24/7.
Davie, 24, recently spoke to The Independent and revealed that he lost £15,000 on online games, slot machines and football accumulators. He commented:
“I wouldn’t even know where to begin to get help. It’s almost shameful to ask for help with this sort of addiction because you feel embarrassed.”
To learn more about gambling addiction, visit our gambling addiction knowledge centre. If you’re concerned that you or someone you know is gambling too much, please feel free to visit our Gambling Addiction Treatment Programme page for more information on the signs, symptoms and treatments available. You can also contact us today.