The National Gambling Helpline has always served as a critical barometer for understanding the scale and scope of gambling-related issues within the community. In 2023, GamCare, the provider of this vital support service, documented a staggering increase in the number of calls and online interactions it received, a testament to the escalating need for immediate intervention and support for individuals grappling with gambling harm.
The figures are both startling and illuminating. Last year’s 24% boost in helpline communications over the previous year represents an unprecedented demand for assistance and signals that more individuals are recognizing the need for proactive management of their gambling behavior. The busiest Christmas period ever experienced underscores that the struggle with gambling addiction does not take a holiday, requiring a 24/7 support system to meet the surge in demand in their most vulnerable hours.
The WhatsApp channel’s introduction, resulting in an additional 6,000 engagements, is a telling indicator of how adapting to new communication norms is key to meeting individuals where they are comfortable seeking help. Moreover, the sizable uptake in the Gamban blocking software licenses highlights a willingness among the public to embrace tools and strategies that enable them to regain control over their online gambling habits.