The UK national telephone gambling helpline: Results of the first year of operation

Abstract

This study outlines the results of the UK's national gambling helpline run by GamCare. The results outlined here cover the period of the first 12 months of operation (November 1997 to October 1998). The helpline received a total of 1729 calls. Of these, 51% were from problem gamblers themselves (90% male; 10% female) and a further 26% of calls were from relatives of problem gamblers. The remaining calls came from other professionals handling problem gambling cases (13%), attempted calls, e.g., people calling and then putting the phone down due to being scared of talking (4%), information requests (3%) and the media (3%). Fruit machine gambling appeared to be most problematic for the callers as a whole and for particular sub-groups such as adolescents (82%) and women (52%).

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