GamCare is the UK's leading organisation for dealing with the delivery
of a range of services and support for confronting the personal and societal
impact of gambling. Gambling is an activity which is enjoyed by millions in the
UK however, for a minority of people, gambling can become an addictive and
compulsive activity which leads to very serious, adverse issues for the
individual, their families, friends, employers and society in general.
As a registered charity, GamCare works very closely with the UK Gambling
Commission which is the regulatory body established by the UK Gambling Act 2005
and which also took over the responsibilities of the old UK Gaming Commission.
Prevention of the adverse impact of gambling is emphasised both by the lawmakers
and the gambling industry and this is reflected in the establishment of codes of
conduct and best practice in the market to prevent those who are especially
susceptible from either gambling at all (such as children) or the delivery of
services and treatment for those who have been identified as needing assistance.
GamCare and several other treatment and support providers, such as Rodney
House, work extremely closely with the industry and the Gambling Commission in
conducting research into gambling disorders, notably compulsive gambling, and
how to minimize the risk to customers and society as a whole. All involved
recognise that it is no-one's interests for gambling to assume a negative hold
on anyone's life not only for the individuals and their families but also for
the gaming operators and industry as a whole.
GamCare operates a telephone helpline service for anyone who is affected by
gambling and this includes families and friends concerned about a loved one. It
is an important aspect of the work of GamCare that it is not only the individual
who is afflicted who needs help and support but the families of those who are
living with or dependent upon a person who is in need of treatment and support.
GamCare seeks to deliver strategies and resources to assist in our
understanding of gambling and its affect upon our society as well as advocate
and encourage a responsible approach to the issue of gaming no matter what form
it takes. GamCare also delivers individual services to those who are affected by
the creation of a dependency upon gambling not only through a telephone helpline
but also through a national network of online and physical counselling and
UK Gambling Commission is also responsible for conducting demographic
research into the impact of gambling in the UK and GamCare works very closely
with the Commission on the establishment of the ground rules for these surveys.
The next survey is due to take place in 2010 and this will be the most
comprehensive survey of gamblers ever undertaken in the UK with GamCare
providing support for the survey which will also be the first to attempt to
identify those with a gambling problem so further research may be conducted upon
them in order to better understand how gambling compulsion develops and its
impact upon our society.