General Article Gambling needs more holistic management to reduce harm when it causes debt, new research suggests

Topic Selected: Gambling Book Volume: 420

Gambling treatment and support services need to dovetail better with debt advice, to ensure recovery pathways for people affected by gambling harm are more likely to succeed, according to a new report by the University of Bristol.

The report in partnership with StepChange Debt Charity, supported by the Gambling Commission, finds gambling is only rarely reported as a driver of problem debt, with around 2% of StepChange clients disclosing gambling associated with their debt.

However, gambling debt can be deeply harmful when it does occur and can badly affect not just the individual, but also others close to them. This is especially true if continued use of credit to fund gambling leads to other bills going unpaid, potentially putting homes and wider household finances at significant risk. The research finds that those affected by someone else’s gambling often go unseen, and there is more to do to ensure these clients are effectively supported.

The new report suggests it is incumbent o...

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