GambleAware Report Shows Link Between Problem Gambling And Suicide

A report by GambleAware has found significant links between problem gambling and suicide, with people with a gambling problem are six times more likely to have suicidal thoughts, or try to commit suicide than the general population.GambleAware are calling upon the Government to do more to help with an ever-growing gambling problem within the UK.

Suicide Attempts

Even with other contributing factors like substance abuse, depression and financial problems, gambling addicts are three times more likely to think about or attempt to commit suicide.The study, which compared the general population against people with gambling related problems showed that in the past twelve months 19% had suicidal thoughts, compared with 4.1% of the general population. 4.7% of problem gamblers had attempted suicide compared with 0.6% of the wider population.Heather Wardle, assistant professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Co-author of the study, has called on the Government to do more in relation to the protection of addicts, especially within the industry.“ The harms from gambling are profound and can be devastating for individuals, families and communities. These results show how people with gambling problems are a higher risk group for suicidality.“ The people on the frontline of dealing with this high-risk group are the industry, who need to think about how they train their staff potentially having interactions with suicidal people. They need to ensure staff will put the wellbeing of people before profit.

Operators Can Do More

Direct marketing has been blamed on multiple occasions where operators have not intervened when players have lost huge amounts of money in a short space of time.Campaigners are urging the Government to introduce a mandatory tax levy on the gambling operators revenue, currently the levy is voluntary. Some of the larger companies have offered to increase the amount they pay up to 1% over the next five years, but campaigners fear this still isn’t enough to fund the help for problem gamblers in the UK.

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