Northern England Opens Gambling Addiction Clinic

The National Health Service in the UK will open a clinic to treat people with gambling addictions in the north of England. This clinic is the first one of its kind outside London. The clinic will be based in Leeds. Many people in the north of England welcome the opening of the clinic. They feel people with gambling problems will be helped from the new clinic and social service programs.

The New Clinic

The clinic is expected to open by the summer of 2019. The clinic was made possible by a $1.5 million grant from a charity funded by gambling revenue—GambleAware. Currently, in order for gambling addicts to get treatment, they must travel south to London for help. The clinic will be called the NHS Northern Gambling Clinic. It will be run with a partnership of the NHS Foundation Trust and the GamCare network.

The clinic will provide both mental health counseling and social services for problem gamblers. Research has shown that people who have a gambling disorder need help with a lot of different problems. Examples include bankruptcy, debt, job loss, crime, drug use, and suicide. The goal is to get gambling addicts psychological treatment and counseling and help them get back on their feet financially. In addition to psychological counseling for the individual, the clinic will offer group therapy service.

Gambling in the UK

Gambling in the UKThe United Kingdom has many options for gamblers. Critics have said it is the availability of gambling that is part of the problem. The UK has casinos and poker rooms all over the country. In addition, gamblers are able to place sports bets at bet shops all over the UK. Gamers are allowed to place bets online or onsite for all of their favorite sports. British gamers can now also play casino and poker games online.

Fixed odds betting terminals (or FOBTs) allow players to play slots or video poker. The FOBTs have caused the most concern in the UK. Social agencies have long complained that the FOBTs are addictive. They believe players often have no idea that they have suffered deep losses until it is too late.

Gambling revenue in the United Kingdom on all forms of gambling has been estimated to be nearly $18 billion per year.

The Problem with Problem Gamblers

Research reveals around two million people are problem gamblers, which means they gamble more than they should. Nearly 400,000 people are said to be gambling addicts. The government is accused of ignoring problem gambling because of the money gambling brings into the coffers of the UK.

There have been some moves by the British government to further regulate the gambling industry. Since reports showed that FOBTs are more addictive than other forms of gambling, they have been working to regulate FOBTs. The British government has decided to lower the bet amount on FOBTs from $150 to $2.50 every spin. The UK government has faced a lot of opposition from gamblers and gaming companies that operate FOBTs. That proposal is also receiving blowback from gaming companies, who feel they pay enough taxes to the government. The government is considering adding additional taxes on other forms of gambling to make up for the shortfalls in revenue.

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Richard Holmes was born in Tampa, Florida and studied computer science at Pensacola Christian College in Pensacola Florida. A devout Baptist, volunteer Sunday School teacher and online gaming fan, Richard works as a part-time systems administrator at Baptist Hospital and part-time professional blogger specializing in statistics, probability and computer science issues. He is an ardent believer in the future of artificial intelligence as a tool for transforming human society for the better, particularly in the area of health care and modern medicine. A chess player, and competitive online gamer Richard actively participates on online gaming tournaments in his free time.