GambleAware Reach Out: Safer Gaming for Women


Responsible gambling charity GambleAware has launched its first-ever exclusively female-focused campaign to warn women of the risks associated with excessive betting.

The UK charity claims that up to one million women in Great Britain, population 67 million people, may be experiencing varying levels of harm because of too much gambling, or betting addiction.

And among women experiencing “high levels” of betting harm, two-in-five may duck treatment or asking for help because of the stigma of addiction, claim GambleAware.

They say that women’s participation in online gaming peaks during the winter, with female betting traffic increasing by around 30 per cent between December and March.

The GambleAware campaign hopes to engage women gamers before trouble hits by warning them of three key signs on the road to addiction: “losing track of time; spending more than you can afford on playing and keeping your gambling secret from those around you.”

And the charity urges female gamblers to get help before things get too serious.

“Our research shows women may not be aware they are starting to experience harm from gambling or, may be worried about reaching out for support due to stigma or shame,” said Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware.

“That’s why our campaign highlights the warning signs to look out for, so we can support women who gamble and prevent them from developing gambling harms.”

Gambling Minister Chris Philp said: “The gambling landscape has evolved immeasurably in the past 15-years.

“[The government’s upcoming] comprehensive review of the [2005] Gambling Act will ensure our gambling laws offer the right balance of protections in the digital age.”

Early Warning

“I welcome this campaign to increase awareness of problem gambling among women. It’s vital that we continue to do all we can to protect those at risk from gambling-related harm,” added Philp, Conservative MP for Croydon South.

Continued Health Minister Gillian Keegan: “This campaign is a fantastic way to raise awareness about the harms of gambling which can impact an individual, as well as their friends and family. By highlighting the early warning signs, supporting women and providing advice we can help to stop harmful gambling dead in its tracks.”

Liz Karter, MBE, a leading UK expert in gambling addiction in women and a gambling addiction counsellor, said:

“Gambling behaviours manifest themselves differently in women than men. Gambling doesn’t always lead to harm [but] it’s vital women are aware of early warning signs.”

The number of women receiving treatment for gambling has doubled in the past five years: up from 1,134 in 2015-16 to 2,423 in 2020-21.

But despite more women accessing help services, such as The National Gambling Treatments Service or the National Helpline, GambleAware believes this only represent “a fraction of those who are experiencing gambling harms”.

Noted Tim Miller, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission:

“Public information campaigns like these are absolutely vital to raising awareness of the risks of gambling harms, and we support any initiative which offers support and advice to help those gambling do so in a safe manner.”

Anyone concerned about their gambling, or that of a loved one, can visit BeGambleAware.org for free, confidential, advice and support.

The National Gambling Helpline is available on 0808 8020 133 and operates 24/7.