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GamCare survey highlights risk of gambling-related harm among young people

| By Marese O'Hagan
Gambling awareness charity GamCare has released data indicating that 71% of under-18s that contacted GamCare’s National Gambling Helpline in the last three years did so because of their own gambling activities.

Gamcare’s user data also revealed that 20% of under-18s that contacted its services had concerns for family or friends. It also found that 8.5% were considered “at risk” of irresponsible gambling.

Additionally, 77% of under-18s that accessed Gamcare support services gambled online with esports skin betting a particularly popular channel.

In total, 353 young people contacted GamCare in the past year.

To address this, Gamcare has launched BigDeal, a website where young people can find support if they are concerned about their gambling habits or the gambling habits of others.

The site also offers sources for parents and those that work with young people, such as teachers and social workers.

“Since lockdown, we’ve not only heard stories from our helpline that reveal young people are increasingly experiencing more parental gambling but there is also rising concern for potential harms to young people who gamble themselves.” said Anna Hemmings, CEO of Gamcare.

“That’s why we hope Big Deal will be a resource that speaks to young people in plain terms on the core issues related to gambling, the harms they could encounter, plus how they can get further support from our helpline.”

As the data range involves under-18s, Gamcare is also calling for mandatory gambling education in the UK school curriculum.

Last year Gamcare partnered with gambling-blocking software provider Gamban to provide self-exclusion software for free.

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