Leeds Problem Gambling Clinics Signal Start of New Consumer Care Era

The first NHS problem gambling clinics located outside of London have officially opened their doors in Leeds.

Matt Hancock

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matthew Hancock is pushing for problem gambling support across the UK. (Image: National Health Executive)

Part of a multi-billion-pound initiative, Leeds Community Gambling started on September 18 and will offer support at various locations around the city.

Each venue will treat those with severe gambling addictions and be overseen by GamCare, Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT) and Leeds City Council.

Comprehensive Problem Gambling Support

As well as help for individuals with problem gambling issues, the service will assist families and friends. What’s more, there will be treatment plans for other mental health conditions.

By offering a comprehensive support system, it’s hoped Leeds Community Gambling can tackle the problem at its core. While gambling addiction is often viewed in isolation, research suggests it’s often linked to other behavioural issues.

For Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matthew Hancock, access to this type of help is crucial. With problem gambling a hot topic for the government, he’s using newly available funds to everyone in the UK receive the care they need.

No one’s access to support should depend on where they live, so we are expanding treatment outside of London to help addicts get the support they need to turn their lives around,” Hancock said in a press release.

In addition to tackling the negative effects of problem gambling, efforts are being made to prevent issues before they start. Early this week, 32Red announced it will print responsible gambling messages on the shirts of five football teams.

UK Gaming Operators Doing Their Bit

Adding to the UK gaming industry’s efforts, GVC has called for a complete ban on TV betting adverts. Despite legal changes banning adverts before sporting events and the 9pm watershed, the operator wants more.

With consumers watching 30 hours of online content per week and TV viewing figures sliding by 20% in recent years, this wouldn’t be huge blow for UK gaming companies.

Regardless, a blanket ban on TV adverts would signal a huge change in dynamics. However, with the UK gaming industry doing its best to regain the trust of consumers, major moves are necessary.

With all these facets working in unison, the issue of problem gambling is slowly becoming a manageable one. While anti-gambling advocates will say much more needs to be done, the latest news is a positive for gamers in Leeds and for the industry as a whole.

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