New research from GambleAware has highlighted that perceived stigma can be a barrier to accessing treatment for female gamblers.
The research, which was commissioned by GambleAware and completed by YouGov, aims to develop a deeper understanding around the experiences of women and gambling.
The study found that 39% of women ‘who would not want treatment, advice or support to help them cut down their gambling’ had cited ‘feeling embarrassed, or not wanting people to know about their gambling’ was a barrier. This was somewhat higher than the 22% of male problem gamblers.
Increased awareness of confidential support and treatment services was cited as a particularly important factor for female gamblers, with 20% explaining that this would be a key motivating factor.
Of those surveyed, 35% of female gamblers who experience high levels of gambling harm, and have a PGSI score of 8+, are from a BAME background, compared to 12% of the overall female population.
This same pattern is also seen amongst male gamblers, with 29% of men with a PGSI score of 8+ coming from a BAME background, compared to 12% of men overall.
Anna Hemmings, CEO of GamCare, explained: “This report has highlighted not only the challenges that need to be overcome, but also the opportunities available to service providers to help increase take-up of treatment and support to help reduce and prevent gambling harms among women.
“Across our treatment network, in line with the National Gambling Treatment Service, we are working with women to better understand the barriers they may face when it comes to seeking advice or help for their gambling, or experience as an affected other, so that we can continue to ensure they have access the services they need, regardless of their gender or background.”
GambleAware found that 8% of women were categorised as ‘affected others’, those who experience harm as a result of someone else’s gambling, and that 16% of these are from a BAME background
Researchers also found that women are more negatively impacted by the gambling of a close family member than men, with women constituting 35% of affected others, compared to just 9% of males.
However men were found to be more likely to be affected by the gambling of a friend or flatmate than women, with 33% citing this, compared to just 9% of females. Among those affected by the gambling of a parent, 88% of women, in comparison to 75% of men, said this had a moderate or severe negative impact.
Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware, concluded: “This research indicates that women, particularly in the capacity as an affected other, experience gambling harms in different ways to men and this report is an important first step in understanding those differences.
“This research was commissioned to help treatment providers, such as those operating via the National Gambling Treatment Service, address any barriers people may face when it comes to accessing help and support for their gambling and it is essential that services are flexible and meet the needs of individuals.”