NHS response to gambling white paper

Responding to the Gambling White Paper, NHS Mental Health Director, Claire Murdoch said: “The NHS has long called for action to tackle gambling addiction which destroys people’s lives – I have personally heard of countless examples of people bereaved by gambling addiction or who have contemplated suicide – so I am delighted that the Government has committed to tackling this cruel disease.

“While the NHS is treating record numbers, with almost 50% more referrals last year compared to the previous year, it should not be left to the health service to pick up the pieces left behind by a billion-pound industry profiting on vulnerable people, so I fully endorse the statutory levy set out in today’s White Paper and look forward to reading the proposals in detail.”


  1. New figures show that the NHS received 990 referrals for treatment between April – December 2022 compared to 668 the same period the previous year.
  2. The NHS Long Term Plan committed to establishing 15 gambling clinics, and we are on track with 8 open and more sites to be announced shortly.
  3. Around 138,000 people could be problem gamblers according to Gambling Commission figures, with around 1.3 million people engaging in either moderate or low-risk gambling – although other research estimates that this figure could be higher.