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GamCare contacts reach record levels

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GamCare reported an increase in the number of calls to their National Gambling Helpline and the amount of online chats. The total reached 44,049 during the period ended 31 March 2023. This is the highest ever level.

GamCare’s annual report outlines its results and activities, including its financial statements. It also explains how the tools were used.

Total targeted chats and calls rose 4.7% in the past 12 months to reach 44 049. GamCare reported that 82,505 treatment sessions, calls and chats were conducted in total over the course of a year. GamCare reported that 64,374 individuals had been trained on gambling awareness during the past year. This included 45,562 children and youth at risk.

In addition, the total number of patients who received treatment during this period increased by 0.4% on an annual basis to 9009. The treatment is delivered in the form Extended Brief Interventions or structured sessions. A total of 38,456 sessions of treatment were conducted.

Margaret Daly said that it was heartening for GamCare to be celebrating 25 years of being an organization. “So much is done to help people who are suffering from gambling-related harms”, she added. We’ve made significant progress in promoting gambling harm treatment and support and we hope to encourage more people come forward.

Looking forward, we will continue to focus on the reduction of barriers for people seeking support as well as delivering high-quality services which can transform lives.

Why you should call the Helpline

Sixty-three percent of those who called GamCare’s helpline, or participated in treatment during the past 12 months said that their main reason for gambling is to chase losses or wins. Other reasons included escapism (34%), financial problems (31%), and escaping reality.

GamCare’s Money Guidance Service was launched in January of this year. This service is designed to offer financial guidance to people who are experiencing damaging gambling.

GamCare’s annual report stated that, when known, 87.3% were gambling addicts, and 12.7% affected other people. The majority of people who called the helpline (68%), were male. Only 30% were women. GamCare will launch an online group in October 2022 for women affected by gambling. Transgender and other genders made up only 2%.

The 26-35 group contacted the helpline at the highest rate, 41.7%. In terms of age ranges, the 36-45 group accounted for 22.9% while those under 25 constituted 15.4%.

Financial results

GamCare also reported its financial results from the 12-month period ending 31 March.

GamCare received PS7.4m from donations during this time period. This is 15.7% more than last year. The income was dominated by charitable activities, which accounted for PS12.5m, an increase of 35.0%, while the investment income grew from PS33,422 up to PS35 072.

Total income for the period 2022-2023 was PS20.1m. This represents a 27.3% increase. The total expenditure in the past year was PS18.2m. This resulted in a profit of PS1.8m.

Anna Hemmings, GamCare CEO for five years, left the charity at the end of the financial year. Daly stated that GamCare’s new CEO will join the company “at the perfect moment” to continue building on GamCare’s successes and strengths.

GamCare published a report last month that revealed three out of five gamblers who were looking for help with harmful gambling cited the online slot machines as their main concern.

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