GambleAware has highlighted the performance of the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS), but added that more awareness of problem gambling is needed.
The charity outlined this week that between April 2021 and March 2022, 7,072 people received treatment via the NGTS, with 92% having improved on the problem gambling severity index.
However, GambleAware noted that 63% of people who left treatment in 2021-22 had completed their programmes, meaning that 37% of people had not finished treatment.
On a wider scale, 86% of those who completed treatment said that they had reduced their psychological distress around gambling behaviour, measured using the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation (Core-10) measure.
Zoë Osmond, GambleAware CEO, said: “It is extremely encouraging to see that the National Gambling Treatment Service continues to improve the lives of those who experience gambling harms and remains a highly effective treatment option.
“It is also encouraging to see the fall in those accessing more advanced treatment balanced out with more and more people accessing the helpline and other services as a means of support.
“Gambling harms can affect anyone and it is important to encourage people to seek support and treatment early on.”
Of GambleAware’s referrals, most were found to be from the National Gambling Helpline at 57%, with self-made referrals making up 26%, and 50% had a first appointment within five days and 75% within 12 days, with treatment on average lasting 10 weeks.
Taking a societal view, GambleAware has argued that the data demonstrates ‘the evolving picture of gambling harm as a public health concern’.
The charity noted that more women are contacting its service, with the majority reaching out being ‘affected others’, who across both men and women represented 14% of those making contact.
“We remain committed to ensuring that we work closely with our partners to understand how we can further optimise uptake and retention,” Osmund continued.
“We also acknowledge the urgent need to raise awareness of the service and improve access to it across the diverse range of populations and people that could stand to benefit from treatment.”
Lastly, data revealed that the most common location for gambling amongst service users was online, with use of these services said to be noticeably higher among younger age groups.
The report comes one month after GambleAware published the results of a Bournemouth University study, which the charity had commissioned into operators’ safer gambling messaging.