GamCare Isle of Man was launched by the Alcohol Advisory Service at Keyll Daree last November and since then they had made a lot of progress helping gamblers fight their addiction all over UK and beyond. GamCare was a support service that aimed to help problem gamblers and it would be funded by license holders in the island’s gaming industry. The service was run by the Department of Social Care and the island's Gambling Commission.
With the help of the service, Isle of Man would have an extensive survey and research to shed light on the extent of gambling addiction. Surveys would be sent to 4000 homes in the Isle and would be processed and researched further by the National Centre for Social Research on behalf of Alcohol Advisory Service.
The survey sent via post would also include information on how to get help for those who were affected by this addiction. Mostly the support would from GamCare and other groups that would help both the gamblers and their families. The services had been given funding enough to run for 24 months. What the results say would be the basis if there would be any changes or continuation.
Lyndsey Smart, the island's problem gambling support worker, said: “Gambling can be a harmless, innocent and pleasurable activity for the majority but for a small percentage of the population occasional use can extend into an addiction.
“Studies show that about 0.9% of people in the UK have a pathological problem and if figures in Isle of Man are in line with that, we could be looking at about 800 people with problems.”
According to the website of GamCare, they take a non-judgemental approach to gambling. They do not wish to restrict the choices or opportunities for anyone to operate or engage in gambling opportunities that are available legally and operated responsibly and that they develop strategies that will: Improve the understanding of the social impact of gambling, promote a responsible approach to gambling and address the needs of those adversely affected by a gambling dependency.
The service operates the national telephone and they have online help lines for anyone undergoing a gambling problem and want to be free of it. They also provide both face to face and online counseling, free to clients.
Minister for Social Care Hon Chris Robertshaw MHK said, “What is important is that we help the minority of people in our community for whom gambling may be a problem. This new on-Island service will help those affected identify ways to receive support directed specifically at getting their gambling back under control, as well as help directed at managing the consequences of problem gambling such as debt, stress and relationship breakdown and the impact on families from gambling.”
Meanwhile, regarding the boom of online gambling, Smart said, “The increase in online gambling has meant both men and women have equal opportunities to gamble in a variety of ways which has led to an increase in those developing problems without having to leave their own homes.”
[Source: BBC News]