Never too old to get in trouble nor too late to seek help
The statistics compiled by GamCare based on clients who used its services in 2015-16 confirmed what many suspected that it is younger, less experienced gamblers who are seeking treatment after getting into difficulties.
Its figures show 21 per cent of its clients were in the 18-25 age range and a further 41 per cent aged between 26-35, so 62 per cent were 35 and under. In comparison, only 6% were 56 and over, which could mean the greybeards are wise enough not to get into trouble or are unwilling to seek counselling.
To illustrate that it is possible to get into difficulties with gambling at any stage of your betting life and never too late to admit you need help, 16 per cent of GamCare clients had been gambling for 20 years or more.
The levels of debt revealed by those seeking GamCare's advice showed that while 20 per cent had nothing to pay off and 18 per cent had less than £5,000 debt, some 7 per cent had debt of between £20,000-£100,000, although whether this could be wholly attributable to gambling is unclear.
A lower percentage of clients seeking help listed online (43 per cent) as their area of activity, with online sports and racing betting comprising 16% of the overall total, while of the 57% who gambled offline there was a strong tilt towards betting shops at 38%, compared to casinos at 7%. Some 20% of the total listed gaming machines in betting shops as one of their activities.
For advice and support contact Begambleaware or GamCare through their websites or via the national gambling helplines: 0808 8020 133 in the UK, 08000 886 725 in Northern Ireland, where the organisation is Dunlewey.net, or 1800 936 725 in the Republic of Ireland to get into contact with problemgambling.ie, or visit one of the information points listed below.
Information points to find out more
All take place between 10am-2pm
Resorts World, Pendigo Way, B40 1PU. Tuesday, October 17
Co-op education Centre, 11 Fore St, IP4 1JW. Tuesday, October 17
Leeds Becket University, Rose Bowl City Campus, LS1 3HB. Wednesday, October 18
Compton Centre Community Hub, 322 Hare Hills Lane, LS9 7BG. Tuesday, October 17
263 Townsend Lane, Liverpool, L13 9DG. Tues 17 – Weds Oct 18
9 Romney Place, ME15 6LT. Tuesday, October 17 – Wednesday, October 18
Rates Hall, Town Hall extension, Albert Square: Tuesday, October 17 – Wednesday, October 18
Newcastle upon Tyne
Grainger Market, NE1 5QQ. Wednesday, October 18
36-39 Abington Square, NN1 4AA. Wednesday, October 18
The Lantern, Meadow Farm Drive, Harlescott, SY1 4NG. Tuesday, Oct 17
Cobbett Road Library, Cobbett Road, SO18 1HL. Tuesday, October 17
Southwater Square, Southwater Way, TF3 4JG. Wednesday, October 18