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Gambling Act Review Statement from GambleAware

GambleAware is the leading charity working to keep people safe from gambling harms. As the lead commissioner working to address and prevent gambling harms, we deliver prevention and treatment services across Great Britain. GambleAware is an independent charity, accountable to the Charity Commission.

Zoë Osmond, CEO, GambleAware, said: “As we await the publication of the White Paper, which is set to be the most comprehensive gambling review in 15 years, we sincerely hope the current political situation will not result in further delay. Millions of people are currently at risk of experiencing gambling harms across Great Britain and up to 7% of the population may be affected by the gambling behaviour of someone close to them.

“As the cost-of-living crisis continues, it is vital that gambling harm is addressed as an urgent public health issue and that the upcoming White Paper will propose a consistent and sustainable funding model to ensure the long-term stability and certainty of necessary prevention and treatment services.

“Each year GambleAware enables thousands of people to access free, confidential support services through the National Gambling Treatment Service and anyone concerned about their gambling, or that of a someone close to them, should go to BeGambleAware.org.”

We would be able to comment on the areas listed below in relation to gambling harms:

  • Funding – GambleAware is strongly in favour of a levy to ensure the successful delivery of long-term research, treatment and prevention services
  • Gambling as a public health issue, including gambling harms
  • Advertising and sponsorship
  • Stigma related to gambling
  • Children and Young People

Spokespeople available include:

  • Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware

Zoë Osmond is Chief Executive of the national charity GambleAware and will be able to comment on the necessity for gambling to be seen and treated as a public health issue. She will also be able to talk about GambleAware's wide remit in working with partners to tackle gambling harms and the need for a government led national gambling harms strategy. This includes the charity's role as the leading commissioner of treatment and prevention programmes across England, Scotland and Wales and the implementation of successful major public health campaigns to raise awareness of gambling harms and offer support to those in need. Zoë has previously appeared on a range of national and broadcast media outlets as a regular spokesperson for GambleAware and gambling harms.

  • Owen Baily

Owen Baily, a Lived Experience Consultant has 10 years Gambling Sector Experience and has spent 16 years combatting Gambling Disorder. Owen represents Lived Experience at NHS England's Gambling Harms Network and also as a Lay Member at the NICE Gambling Harms Committee aiming to co create the first ever evidence-based Gambling Guidelines for the NHS. Owen sees first-hand the effects of gambling disorder and helps others in his other role as the first ever Gambling Peer Support Worker for the NHS CNWL London Gambling Clinic. Other roles include working with GambleAware through the lived experienced networks GLEN and ALERTS. Owen is passionate about the development of the Lived Experience Workforce in the gambling space, aftercare, recovery capital, commissioning and systems change. 

  • Stacey Goodwin

Stacey, 28, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, first began gambling aged 18 when she got hooked on slot machine at her place of work after placing a £1 bet. Overtime, her gambling habit lead to significant financial and emotional consequences. Stacey has now been in recovery for almost two years after undergoing treatment at a residential facility. She is now bravely sharing her story on social media to encourage other women in her situation who are suffering in silence to speak out and seek help - using the handle The Girl Gambler.