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.”
- New figures show that the NHS received 990 referrals for treatment between April – December 2022 compared to 668 the same period the previous year.
- 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.
- 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.