GambleAware has released new data maps detailing the level of gambling harm at a local authority and parliamentary constituency level across Great Britain.
Produced by PoliMapper, the maps also show the demand and usage of support and treatment services, showing where there are higher levels of people experiencing gambling harm.
The maps use the Problem Gambling Severity Index screening tool that “visually highlights the level of harm across different areas” to make it easier to understand exactly where and how many people are experiencing gambling harm, as well as who is at risk.
The data has revealed that the North West has a higher proportion of ‘affected others’ – anyone negatively affected by someone else’s gambling – at eight per cent than the average across Great Britain, which is at seven per cent, and is ranked the worst out of 11 regions.
It also shows that 61 per cent of adults in the North West – or over 3.6 million – engaged in a form of gambling in 2022, which is higher than the national average of 60 per cent.
However, there was a lower demand for support amongst those people, as “across the North West only 57 per cent of those experiencing problem gambling (defined as a PGSI score of eight or above) reported that they wanted support, advice or treatment services, compared to 65 per cent across Great Britain as a whole”.
Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, commented: “Gambling harms are a serious public health issue and can affect anyone, including many thousands of people across the North West – as well as those closest to them.
“As the leading gambling harms charity in Great Britain, we have published these maps to provide local areas with the evidence they need to address treatment and support needs in their communities.
“Broadening our reach, working with people at a local level and engaging with local authorities means we can further help those experiencing harm from gambling.”
Building on GambleAware’s regional-first approach to tackling gambling harms, the maps can help identify where increased campaign activity needs to take place, as well as further engagement with local authorities and spot what needs to be done regionally to “ensure access to the right treatment and support”.
The charity also has the National Gambling Support Network which helps to improve referral routes and make sure the right support is given to people at the right time across Great Britain, which includes Beacon Counselling Trust in the North West.
“As a North West provider within the National Gambling Support Network we see firsthand the affects gambling can have on individuals and those around them across the region, and this insightful data helps confirm what we see every day,” added Neil Platt, Clinical Director at Beacon Counselling Trust.
“Gambling harms can affect anyone. This is why it is so important the treatment and support services available for people are as accessible, proactive and representative as possible, with Beacon providing both counselling sessions and practical and holistic support for those experiencing gambling harms and ‘affected others.’
“The design of the new National Gambling Support Network means those who are experiencing gambling harm can access specialist, tailored treatment or support, dependent on their needs, quickly and efficiently, wherever they are across Great Britain.”