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Gamstop records 55,000 self-exclusions among women

| By Richard Mulligan
More than 55,000 women have self-excluded from online gambling sites through Gamstop as new figures from the self-exclusion tool suggest problem gambling may be growing among female players.

Gamstop said women now account for 31% of self-exclusions compared to 26% in March 2020, a change it attributed to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

The organisation said surpassing the 50,000 mark in registrations is “significant” and argued that the statistic demonstrates that online gambling addiction – often regarded as solely being a problem among men – is having an increasing impact on women.

Gamstop chief executive Fiona Palmer said: “As we begin to understand the demographic make up of our register it is important to feed back to the various support agencies and work together to encourage those women who have registered with Gamstop to access the help they may need going forward.

“50,000 female registrants is a significant number and we are pleased that they have found the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme and that it is a useful practical tool to help with their gambling issues.”

Gamstop cited statistics released by the National Gambling Treatment Service which have shown an increasing portion of women among those receiving treatment, up from 19% in 2015/16 to nearly 25% in the year to the end of March 2020. A larger portion of the group than ever also faced problems related to online gambling, at 69%, up from 57% in 2015/16.

According to national gambling support charity Gamcare, the number of women reporting gambling problems is increasing at double the rate of men, but only 1% of women who experience gambling-related harm contact the National Gambling Helpline.

Anna Hemmings, chief executive of GamCare, said: “We must get to grips with the unnecessary shame and stigma women feel around asking for help with gambling. Gambling is not just a male activity, and it can affect women in significant, potentially life-changing ways.

“Our dedicated Women’s Programme has told us that we need to remove barriers for women to access help with gambling-related harm – the issues that women are facing are often hidden from support services.

“GamCare is pleased to be able to work with Gamstop so people registering for online self-exclusion can also be swiftly connected through to specialist support and treatment services, which greatly increases the chance of sustaining a recovery from gambling harms.”

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