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New Report Reveals Treatment Helped 90% Of National Gambling Treatment Service Users Reduce Their Problem Gambling Score

London, 29 October 2020: GambleAware has today published a new report, using data collated by ViewItUK, on the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS).

Commissioned by GambleAware, NGTS is a network of organisations working together to provide confidential treatment and support for anyone experiencing gambling harms. This is the first time GambleAware have published a detailed report outlining statistics for the National Gambling Treatment Service.

The research revealed nine in ten (90%) of the 9,008 clients who completed treatment between April 2019 and March 2020 showed improvement on the PGSI scale[2]. In particular when reviewing how many clients were classified as ‘problem gamblers’[3] at the start vs at the end of treatment, it was found that 60% were no longer defined at such[4] by the end.  The research also highlighted the average treatment length lasted eight weeks.

Another severity measure used by the services, alongside the PGSI score, is the CORE-10 scale, which is a survey used to monitor psychological distress. The researchers found for those clients that ended their treatment, their CORE-10 score reduced by an average of eight points, with 74% classed as below the threshold of “moderate” distress. For clients who completed their treatment, four in five (86%) improved their CORE-10 score.

The report found that 90% of referrals for treatment were self-made and that 50% of individuals were seen within three days of referral and 75% within eight days. It was also found that between 2015/16 and 2019/20 the proportion of clients completing scheduled treatment increased from 59% to 69% whilst the proportion dropping out of treatment decreased from 35% to 24%.

When examining the profile of the gamblers using the service between April 2019 and March 2020 the analysis found:

  •          A total of 9,008 individuals[5] were treated within the National Gambling Treatment Service and three quarters of clients (75%) were male. 
  •          Almost nine tenths (89%) were from a white ethnic background and the next most commonly reported ethnic backgrounds were Asian or Asian British (5%), followed by Black or Black British (3%).
  •          Clients had an average age of 34 years at time of referral, with 25% saying they started problem gambling by the age of 19 and 50% said it was by the age of 24.

The report went on to illustrate on average gamblers reported spending £2,102 on gambling in the month before assessment. It also found the majority of gamblers (71%) using the treatment service reported having a debt due to their gambling.  Almost half (45%) had debts over £5,000 or were bankrupt or in an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) and one in ten (16%) reported a debt of £20,000-£99,999.

Marc Etches, GambleAware CEO, commented: “The publication of this detailed analysis, of the impact the National Gambling Treatment Service can have on people receiving support, is a significant milestone. GambleAware commissioned ViewItUK to independently collate and analyse output and outcome data, which will allow GambleAware to rigorously evaluate these outcomes on the basis of robust and comparable evidence.

“We are committed to informing the development of best practice and outstanding care for those experiencing gambling harms in Great Britain, and the data reporting system we are pioneering is designed to be made available to the NHS, Public Health, local authorities and other statutory and voluntary sector agencies to meet the needs of local communities.”

GambleAware has also published the findings for the 2018/19 report on the National Gambling Treatment Service alongside this.

GambleAware runs a campaign to raise awareness of the treatment available through the National Gambling Treatment Service, which you can read more about here.