Nottingham City Council is raising awareness of the signs of gambling harm by asking: ‘could you recognise the signs?’
Gambling can affect physical and mental health, damage relationships and leave people feeling lonely and isolated. It can also cause problems with employment, education, housing and lead to serious debt.
Gambling products are widely used and strongly promoted by the industry. Gambling is commonly misinterpreted as being limited to casino-style games and to sports betting, yet there are many other forms of gambling including scratch cards, bingo, lotteries, and in-console gaming.
Gambling-related harm is under-recognised and often hidden. Many people being harmed by gambling don’t see themselves as a person with a problem and don’t recognise the issues it’s causing. When people do recognise they may have a gambling problem, it can hard to talk about it, or to reach out for help because of guilt, shame or worry.
These are many signs which may help people recognise if gambling has become harmful to them, or someone they know. These include:
- Being preoccupied, struggling to concentrate or distracted by gambling
- Withdrawing from social activities to gamble instead
- ‘Chasing losses’ to try to win back money already lost.
- Lying to others about the time or money spent on gambling
- Experiencing big changes to mood
- Having trouble sleeping
Councillor Linda Woodings, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Although many people see gambling as something that mainly affects men who gamble at casinos or in betting shops, gambling harm can happen to anyone, at any time and through many different types of activities and products.
“If you notice that you are feeling stressed, anxious or isolated, or you find you are thinking about gambling a lot of the time, that could be a sign that you are being harmed.
“Gambling harm can be experienced by not just the person who is gambling, but family, friends, work colleagues and loved ones, so although it can feel difficult, it is really important to seek help if you see signs that gambling is causing harm”
To learn more, and to find out about free advice and treatment services available in Nottingham, visit: www.asklion.co.uk/gamblingsupport