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GambleAware’s second annual GB Treatment and Support Survey has found an increase in the number of problem gamblers getting support.

The survey, carried out by YouGov, reveals that 63% of problem gamblers used some form of support, advice or treatment in 2020 compared to 54% in November 2019.

The number of problem gamblers remained similar to that identified in the first survey in 2019, at 2.4% of the adult population. Gambling participation was found to have fallen, with the proportion of non-gamblers up from 39% to 44%.

The use of treatment services reported by problem gamblers increased from 43% to 53%. Use of support and advice services increased from 39% to 48%. Meanwhile, the use of mental health services rose from 12% to 19%, and the use of self-help apps or tools, such as self-exclusion tools, rose from 9% to 14%.

Online problem gambling services were favoured by 44%, with respondents citing discretion, convenience and less embarrassment as reasons, while 38% said they found no difference between online and face-to-face services.

Only 18% of problem gamblers who had not used online services said they felt the services would be worse because of the lack of body language or eye contact. Meanwhile, 14% cited obstacles to access support because of sharing devices with other people.

Zoë Osmond, chief executive of GambleAware, said: “It is encouraging to see a year-on-year increase in those classified as ‘problem gamblers’ seeking help, especially during the pandemic. These results will be used to help inform GambleAware’s new commissioning strategy as we continue our work to increase provision of and access to services.

“The significantly increased sample will allow GambleAware to better tailor existing support services according to local need and allow us to better support local authorities and health commissioners.”