Gambling treatment shows improvement for most people

More than 90 per cent of people who complete gambling treatment show an improvement in their condition, according to the 2020-21 statistics from the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS).  

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70 per cent of clients in treatment were male.

Ninety-two per cent of people completing their scheduled treatment recorded a reduction in their Problem Gambling Severity Index score, while 70 per cent were no longer defined as ‘problem gamblers’ by the end of the treatment. While there were 518 fewer people in treatment than in the previous year – largely as a result of COVID – almost three quarters completed the treatment, compared to less than 60 per cent in 2016. 

The percentage of people seeking treatment for online gambling also increased, from less than 60 per cent in 2015-16 to almost 80 per cent. Half of people were able to start treatment within three days of contacting the service, and three quarters within eight days. Less than one per cent of referrals came from GPs, however, with 93 per cent of people self-referring, and 70 per cent of clients were male. The figures relate to structured treatment, and don’t include people using the National Gambling Helpline. 

GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond.
GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond.

‘It is encouraging to see that during an unprecedented year, when many of the services had to move online, the National Gambling Treatment Service has been able to continue to deliver good results for those receiving treatment,’ said GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond.

‘The worryingly low uptake of services however underlines the very real need to continue to raise awareness of and improve pathways to the service, so that more people know that help is available. To assist here, we are continuing to deliver impactful campaigns to help elevate awareness of the service across the country. We also encourage healthcare professionals and other community support figures to refer people in need to the service, yet we recognise that the NGTS cannot tackle this problem alone and we therefore call on other statutory sectors to track results of gambling treatments to help to deliver a clearer picture of treatment in Great Britain.’ 

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