Problem Gambling Clinics Part of Prime Minister’s £20.5 Billion NHS Plan

Prime Minister Theresa May has pledged to invest money in specialist clinics designed to treat problem gambling more effectively and further improve gaming conditions for UK consumers.

Theresa May

Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed that specialist gambling clinics will be set-up as part of her ten-year NHS plan. (Image: Wikipedia/Jim Mattis)

Announced as part of the government’s 10-year plan for the NHS, the clinics will treat those deemed to have serious gambling problems. Although those with issues can currently seek help through the national clinic, data suggests that almost two million people are at risk across the country.

Clinics to Help 400,000+ Consumers

Of those at risk, the NHS Long Term Plan states that 400,000 are problem gamblers. To target those already affected, rather than those at risk, specialist clinics will be set-up in various cities over the next ten years.

“We will therefore expand geographical coverage of NHS services for people with serious gambling problems, and work with partners to tackle the problem at source,” reads the plan published on January 7.

Treating problem gambling is part of a wider effort to tackle a variety of mental health issues. Commenting on the £20.5-billion-a-year investment, Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said that the aim is to use a variety of resources to ensure the overall well-being of the country.

“Whether it’s treating ever more people in their communities, using the latest technology to tackle preventable diseases, or giving every baby the very best start in life, this government has given the NHS the multi-billion-pound investment needed to nurture and safeguard our nation’s health service,” Hancock wrote on www.gov.uk.

Continued Efforts to Reduce Problem Gambling

The decision to create specialist clinics chimes with the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) ongoing efforts to make operators more responsible for their actions. In 2018, the gaming regulator issued warnings to 17 operators and hit 32Red with a £2 million for social responsibility failures.

In tandem with the UKGC, the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has called for more funding to help tackle problem gambling, while Sky Bet CEO Richard Flint has urged his peers to be proactive.

With operators, governing bodies and the NHS doing more to protect consumers, the UK has reaffirmed its position as leading light in the gaming industry. By pledging more money and resources to tackle problem gambling at all levels, UK gaming is setting an example to the rest of the world and, in turn, creating a better environment for players.

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