Gamstop, the UK-based national online self-exclusion organization has revealed concerning news that suggests that more than 55,000 women have signed up for Gamstop self-exclusion program from several UK-based sites. After registration, those players do not have access to sites that cooperate with GamStop, many of them try to get off GamStop or just start playing on UK casinos not affected by GamStop self-exclusion if they want. This brings to light an alarming growth of problem gambling among female punters. Gambling is often seen as a male activity but the statistics reveal that problem gambling can be damaging to both male and female UK-based players in a potentially life-changing manner.
Gamstop has attributed this concern to the advent of the pandemic caused by the novel Coronavirus which has completely dishevelled our daily routines. Owing to the monotonous Work From Home routine, sedentary lifestyle, and absence of social activities, the masses are now deluging in idle pleasures – gambling being the primary among them. As a result, the rise in online gaming during the pandemic is quickly followed by a surge in bettors trying to block themselves from these gambling operators through trusted self-exclusion programs such as Gamstop.
Women Problem Gambling Figures
Just like many other stereotypes, gambling problems were always mainly attributed to male players but compared to the data collected in March 2020 where 26% of all registrants to Gamstop were women, by the end of the year we witness a surge in that number which has risen up to 31% of women being registered as players seeking GamStop self-exclusion.
The organization is of the opinion that crossing the marks of 50,000 registrants itself is concerning. The statistics make us aware of online gambling addiction which was often regarded to be a problem seen primarily among men. But, as per the accounts by GamStop, gambling is having an increasingly negative impact on women as well.
Fiona Palmer, chief executive of GamStop has made a statement on this alarming growth of female problem gamblers seeking self-exclusion and also discusses the problem of stereotyping male users being the only participants and victims of non GamStop games and problems gambling. She says: “As we begin to understand the demographic makeup of our register it is important to feedback to the various support agencies and work together to encourage those women who have registered with Gamstop to access the help they may need going forward.
“50,000 female registrants is a significant number and we are pleased that they have found the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme and that it is a useful practical tool to help with their gambling issues.”
GamStop referred to the statistics revealed by the National Gambling Treatment Service which uncovered a huge chunk of the women population now receiving treatment for gambling addiction. The proportion has increased from 19% in 2015-16 to around 25% by the end of March 2020.
A substantial portion of that group has also experienced problems pertaining to online gambling, which has surged from 57% in 2015/16 to 69% in recent years.
The National gambling support charity GamCare reports that the number of women who actually report gambling-related problems is rising at double the rate of men, considering the fact that only 1% of women who experience gambling-related dangers contact the National Gambling Helpline. This is disconcerting in the sense that there is a potentially damaging effect on all the problem gambling cases which go unreported. To this condition, Anna Hemmings, the CEO of GamCare states: “We must get to grips with the unnecessary shame and stigma women feel around asking for help with gambling. Gambling is not just a male activity, and it can affect women in significant, potentially life-changing ways.
“Our dedicated Women’s Programme has told us that we need to remove barriers for women to access help with gambling-related harm – the issues that women are facing are often hidden from support services.
“GamCare is pleased to be able to work with Gamstop so people registering for online self-exclusion can also be swiftly connected through to specialist support and treatment services, which greatly increases the chance of sustaining a recovery from gambling harms.”
The organization has thus advised punters against any hesitation in reporting the gambling problems faced by women to the GamStop support services. They have opened their doors to anyone who is being inconvenienced by problem gambling behaviour be it a male or a female player. This not only helps the gambling-addicted masses but also de-stigmatizes the stereotype associated with only ‘male’ players being subjected to problem gambling experiences. Everyone should remember, that gambling is only entertainment and play responsibly. This also throws caution to all the users who are indulging in gambling by inconveniencing their daily routine.
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