Gamcare Helpline Data Summary

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Helpline Data Summary 2020/2021


Contents Executive Summary

3

Introduction 6 Target Calls, Caller Numbers and Client Type 8

2

Demographics 9 Gender 9 Age 9 Ethnicity 9 Employment status 10 Relationship Status 10 Location 11 Gambling Facilities and Activities 12 Reasons for Gambling

14

Impacts of Problem Gambling

15

Self-Reported Health, Financial and Other Impacts

15

Self-Reported Alcohol and Drug Misuse

16

Self-Reported Debt Levels

17


|  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2021  |

Executive Summary 2021 This report outlines key trends observed across our Helpline services during 2020/21 including demographic information where we have gathered this (callers may chose to remain anonymous). Some callers contact us more than once, so this report focuses on individuals rather than calls to give us a clearer picture of the callers using our services. Some key findings from this year are: l Gamblers made up the

majority of callers using the service

l The total number of target

calls in 2020/21 was over 41,000, a 9% increase on the previous year.

l The total number of callers

contacting the Helpline in 2020/21 was 27,024 – an 8% increase on the previous year.

l 78% of callers were gamblers,

which is up from 71% the previous year.

l Chats made up around 43% of

all target calls in 2020/21, up from 37% the previous year.

H E LP LINE DATA SU MMARY 2020-21 | GAMC ARE

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|  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2021  |

Executive Summary 2021 Working males under 35 are most likely to contact us l

l

4 l

Overall, the majority (66%) of callers to the Helpline identified as male, as a higher proportion of gamblers contacting the Helpline identified as male (77%). Six out of every ten Helpline callers were aged 35 or under. The single largest group for both gamblers and affected others is aged 26-35 which accounted for 40% of all Helpline callers. Affected others (17%) were considerably more likely than gamblers (4%) to be aged over 55; it is likely this group is made up of the parents of adult children who gamble.

l

The majority of both gamblers (80%) and affected others (79%) that used the Helpline were employed.

l

Gamblers (26%) were considerably more likely to be single than affected others (4%).

l

The largest proportion of callers were in London (13%), the North West (13%) and the South East (13%).

3x

Online gambling is almost three times as likely to be reported as problematic than offline

The impact of COVID-19

73%

84% l

Online gambling was reported as problematic by 84% of Helpline callers, an increase from 73% the previous year. This is likely caused, at least in part, by UK lockdowns and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in closure of venues and live sporting events being suspended.

Betting and casino games

l

Three in ten gamblers identified betting slots as the online facility or activity most likely to be problematic; followed by betting (29%) and casino games (24%).


|  EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 2021  |

Relationships and family life are impacted

Gamblers + Affected Others 68% 91% l

Chasing losses / wins

The majority of gamblers (68%) and affected others (91%) using the Helpline are in a relationship or married.

Gamblers + Affected Others 49%

64% l

81%

Chasing losses/wins (64%) was the reason most commonly cited for gambling; this was almost twice as often as financial difficulties (33%), the next most frequently reported reason.

l

49% of gamblers and 81% of affected others using the Helpline identified family/ relationship difficulties as a significant impact of problem gambling.

Impact of COVID-19 lockdowns

l

+6%

Borendom

+4%

Coping/ Enjoyment/ Entertainmen

The largest increases in reasons for gambling compared to 2019/20 were in gamblers reporting Boredom; (+6%), Coping strategy (+4%) and Enjoyment/entertainment (+4%) as reasons which possibly reflects the impact of UK COVID-19 lockdowns during the year.

Money matters

Financial Difficulties

66% Reported

26% 75% Not Disclosed

Impacted

l

As many as 66% of gamblers calling the Helpline reported having debt issues.

l

Over a quarter of callers did not disclose the level of their debt (26%).

l

75% of gamblers calling the Helpline reported being impacted by financial difficulties because of their gambling.

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|   INTRODUCTION  |

Executive Introduction Summary 2021 GamCare operates the National Gambling Helpline, providing information, advice and support for anyone affected by gambling harms. Advisers are available on Freephone 0808 8020 133 or via web chat at www.gamcare.org.uk. Our services are available to gamblers as well as family and friends who are impacted by gambling (‘affected others’).

6

This report gives GamCare useful information when planning for and delivering education, outreach, support and treatment services for those experiencing gambling related harm. By understanding who is using our Helpline we can ensure that we continue to make our services as accessible and as relevant as possible.

Scope of this report This report provides data and information about Helpline activity (both calls and live chats) from 1st April 2020 to 31st March 2021. Our wider activities and impact are detailed in a separate report (the Trustees Annual Report) available on the GamCare website. On October 1st 2019, we extended our Helpline operates 24/7 via voice and live chat, and offers call backs to callers as needed. Prior to this the Helpline operated from 8am to midnight, seven days a week. The National Gambling Helpline is operated by GamCare and funded by Gamble Aware. Please note that the data from the Helpline (phone and live chat) included in this report relates to individual callers and not calls except where specified. Callers who make repeated calls to the Helpline will only be counted once in these statistics. It is important to note that callers may wish to remain anonymous and there is no obligation on callers to provide any data if they do not wish to – this will not affect the service or support they receive from us. Some questions are only answered by up to half of the caller population. Bases have been provided for each table to ensure transparency of reporting. The bases vary by table from the overall caller population as each table only includes callers with the relevant data available. To improve comparability ‘not known’ responses are excluded from most tables.


|  INTRODUCTION  |

Terminology Affected Others

Chats

This is anyone affected by someone else’s gambling, for example, a family member or close friend.

One to one interactions with our Advisers via live chat accessed through our website. This service is provided alongside our Freephone number for the National Gambling Helpline.

Other client type Callers described as ‘other’ can include professionals supporting those affected by gambling, as well as those working in the gambling industry who would like advice on how to support a customer concerned about their gambling.

Brief Interventions

Extended Brief Interventions

Extended Brief Interventions are longer, often motivational sessions or connected to the person’s goals mainly delivered more than once.

Frequent Callers

A brief intervention is of short duration (it can be as short as 5-15 minutes) that offers structured and personalised feedback related to gambling risks and harms, delivered in a non-judgemental and supportive way. This may include advice about making a change or strategies related to goals.

Call backs Outgoing contact from our Helpline team, where we are either providing a check-in for a caller we are concerned about, providing an extended brief intervention, or contacting a caller who was unable to connect to our service and left their details for a call back.

Callers to the helpline who have contacted us more than five times in the year (inbound via either phone or live chat).

Target calls

Target calls are calls from those affected by gambling, along with others wishing to support them or request advice about our services.

Non-Target Calls

Non-target calls can include prank calls, wrong numbers and other instances where the caller does not have a need for our services.

H E LP LINE DATA SU MMARY 2020-21 | GAMC ARE

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|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Target Calls, Caller Numbers and Caller Type Target calls and chats l

l

Helpline callers by caller type

The total number of target calls in 2020/21 was over 41,000, a 9% increase on the previous year. Chats made up around 43% of all target calls in 2020/21, up from 37% the previous year.

Target calls and chats 2018/19 to 2020/21 Helpline Calls

Chat

6,079

35,000

25,000 20,000

l

Gamblers made up the majority of callers (78%) to contact the Helpline in 2020/21, which was an increase as a proportion of all callers from previous years.

Total unique callers

40,000

8

The total number of unique callers in 2020/21 was over 27,000, an 8% increase on the previous year.

Table 1: Callers by caller type 2018/19 - 2020/21

Outbound Calls

45,000

30,000

l

1,988 10,268

14,373

6,939

18,113

23,735

25,030

27,024

Gambler

73%

71%

78%

Affected Other

23%

24%

17%

Other

1%

1%

1%

Not Known

2%

4%

3%

Type of caller

15,000 10,000

17,471

17,883

16,839

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

5,000 0

Callers by caller type 2018/19 - 2020/21 Gambler

Affected Other

Other/Not known

30,000 25,000 20,000

17% 23%

24%

73%

71%

2018/19

2019/20

15,000 10,000

78%

5,000 0 2020/21


|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Demographics Ethnicity

Gender l

The majority (66%) of callers to the Helpline identified as male, as a higher proportion of gamblers contacting the Helpline identified as male (77%).

l

Conversely, the majority (84%) of affected others contacting the Helpline identified as female.

Table 2: Caller type by gender for Helpline callers 2020/21 Gambler

Affected Other

Total

Female

23%

84%

34%

Male

77%

16%

66%

Transgender/ nonbinary

<1%

<1%

<1%

13,067

2,855

15,922

n=

Age l

l

Six out of every ten Helpline callers were aged 35 or under. The single largest group for both gamblers and affected others is aged 26-35 which accounted for 40% of all Helpline callers.

Ethnicity reporting for the Helpline was comparatively low, with data available for 27% of Helpline callers in 2020/21 l

The majority of both gamblers (88%) and affected others (90%) who disclosed their ethnicity when contacting the Helpline in 2020/21 were White.

l

Asian or Asian British was the next largest ethnic group (6% of both gamblers and affected others).

Table 4: Caller type by ethnicity for Helpline callers 2020/21 Gambler

Affected Other

White

88%

90%

Black or Black British

3%

2%

Asian or Asian British

6%

6%

Mixed

2%

2%

Any other ethnic group

1%

1%

5,954

1,013

n=

Affected others (17%) were considerably more likely than gamblers (4%) to be aged over 55; it is likely this group is made up of the parents of adult children who gamble.

Table 3: Caller type by age band 2020/21 Gambler

Affected Other

Total

Under 26

23%

15%

22%

26-35

41%

34%

40%

36-45

21%

18%

20%

46-55

10%

15%

11%

Over 55

4%

17%

7%

8,766

1,372

10,138

n=

H E LP LINE DATA SU MMARY 2020-21 | GAMC ARE

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|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Demographics Employment status

Relationship Status

l

The majority of both gamblers (75%) and affected others (77%) who used the Helpline were employed.

l

Affected others were more likely than gamblers to be homemakers or retired (likely reflecting their relationships as either partner or parent).

l

Conversely, gamblers were more likely than affected others to be long term sick or disabled and unemployed.

Table 5: Caller type by socio-economic status for Helpline callers 2020/21

10

The large majority of affected others are either in a relationship (51%) or married/in civil partnership (40%). Only around one in ten affected others were single, separated or divorced.

l

A smaller majority of gamblers using the Helpline were also either in a relationship (45%) or married/in civil partnership (23%) but three in ten were single, separated or divorced (30%).

Table 6: Caller type by relationship status for Helpline callers 2020/21

Gambler

Affected Other

Employed

75%

77%

Homemaker

2%

6%

In prison, in care, seeking asylum

0%

0%

Long term sick or disabled

8%

3%

Other Economically Inactive

0%

0%

Retired

1%

6%

Student

3%

3%

Unemployed ( looking for work)

10%

4%

Unpaid voluntary work

0%

0%

8,751

1,507

n=

l

Gambler

Affected Other

Divorced/Dissolved Civil Partnership

1%

1%

In a Relationship

45%

51%

Married/Civil Partnership

23%

40%

Separated

4%

3%

Single

26%

4%

Widowed

0%

1%

n=

8,637

2,238

Unemployed (looking for work)

10%

4%

n=

8,637

2,238


|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Location l

The most common locationswere in London (13%), the North West (13%) and the South East (13%).

l

When compared to the general adult population in each region the proportion of callers using the Helpline were generally consistent.

Table 7: Region of home postcode of Helpline callers 2020/21 Helpline Callers

% of adult population

East Midlands

8%

7%

East of England

9%

9%

London

13%

13%

North East

5%

4%

North West

13%

11%

Northern Ireland

1%

3%

Scotland

6%

8%

South East

13%

14%

South West

8%

8%

Wales

4%

5%

West Midlands

9%

9%

Yorkshire and The Humber

9%

8%

9,252

66,796,807

n=

11

1 - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/ populationandmigration/populationestimates/datasets/ populationestimatesforukenglandandwalesscotlandandnorthernireland

H E LP LINE DATA SU MMARY 2020-21 | GAMC ARE


|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Gambling Facilities and Activities Figures for gambling facilities and activities are calculated as a percentage of all gamblers who provided at least one gambling activity. Data is only included where a caller has provided a valid facility and activity (and so excludes things like online – not specified). This is to provide consistency with the Date Reporting Framework (DRF) which is the national reporting standard for all GambleAware commissioned services.

12

l

Online gambling was reported as problematic by 84% of Helpline callers compared to just 30% for offline gambling in 2020/21. This is an increase in online gambling and a decrease in offline from the previous year, likely caused, at least in part, by UK lockdowns and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in closure of venues and live sporting events being suspended.

l

The online facilities and activities most likely to be reported as problematic in 2020/21 were slots 31%; followed by betting 29% wand casino games 24%.

l

The offline facilities and activities most likely to be reported as problematic in 2020/21 were betting shop betting 9% and betting shop gaming machines 9%.

Online/Offline gambling activities for Helpline callers 2018/19 to 2020/21 2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

90% 80%

84%

70% 68%

60% 50% 40%

52%

73%

46%

30%

30%

20% 10% 0% Offline

Online

N = 8,120 (2020/21), 8,787 (2019/20) and 8,937 (2018/19)


|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Gambling facilities and activities for Helpline callers 2019/20 and 2020/21 2019/20

2020/21 5%

0%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30% 28% 29%

Online Betting 26%

Online Slots 21%

Online Casino Games 2%

Online Poker

3% 4%

Online Other

4%

8%

Betting Shop Betting

9%

Betting Shop Gaming Machines

9%

Betting Shop Other

2%

Casino Table Games 1%

Bingo Club Bingo

1% 0%

Bingo Club Gaming Machines

1% 0%

Arcades Gaming Machines

17%

7%

2%

2% 1%

24%

13

13%

3% 5%

Casino Gaming Machings

31%

3%

Online Bingo

National Lottery

35%

3%

2%

Scratch cards

4% 4%

Other

4%

6%

H E LP LINE DATA SU MMARY 2020-21 | GAMC ARE


|   HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Reasons for Gambling l

Figures for reasons for gambling are calculated as a percentage of all gamblers who provided at least one reason. Data presented excludes any reason given by less than 100 callers in 2020/21 to improve usability. l

The largest increases compared to 2019/20 were in gamblers reporting Boredom (+6%), Coping strategy (+4%) and Enjoyment/entertainment (+4%) which possibly reflects the impact of UK COVID-19 lockdowns during the year.

Almost two-thirds (64%) of Helpline callers reported chasing losses/wins as a reason for gambling. This was the most frequently reported reason by some margin, cited almost twice as often as financial difficulties (33%), the next most frequently reported reason.

Reasons for gambling for Helpline callers 2019/20 and 2020/21 2019/20

2020/21 0%

14

10%

20%

30%

40%

Chasing losses/wins

70%

60% 64%

34% 33%

Financial Difficulties 21%

Boredom

27% 25% 26%

Escapism 22% 20%

Feeling ‘the buzz’ 10% 12%

Feeling Isolated / Lonely

9% 11%

Habitual Family/Relationship Problems

7% 6%

Traumatic Event

7% 6% 5% 5%

Influence of Others Coping Strategy

1%

Enjoyment/Entertainment

0%

Mental Health

1%

Managing Stress

1%

Social Contact

50%

5% 4% 4% 3%

3% 2%

Alcohol/Drug Use

1% 1%

Bereavement

0% 1%

67%


|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Impacts of Problem Gambling Figures for impacts of gambling are calculated as a percentage of all callers who provided at least one reason in the relevant year. Only impacts reported by callers within the relevant year are included (so it does not include impacts that callers may previously have provided). Impacts are self-reported and may be being experienced currently or in the recent past for the person. The impacts are split into separate sections covering:

l

Mental Health

l

Health, Financial and Other Impacts

l

Alcohol and Drug Misuse

l

Debt

Self-Reported Mental Health Impacts

Self-Reported Health, Financial and Other Impacts

l

Anxiety/stress was the most common mental health impact for both gamblers and affected others across Helpline users in 2020/21.

l

Almost one in ten (9%) of gamblers contacting the Helpline self-reported having suicidal thoughts/ ideations either currently or in the past. Of these where the person has intention to take their life our teams take appropriate actions, which include but are not limited to, contacting emergency services, contacting NHS crisis teams and contacting prison welfare teams.

Table 8: Impacts of problem gambling on Helpline callers 2019/20 and 2020/211 Affected Other 2020/21

2019/20

2020/21

Anxiety/ Stress

78%

74%

77%

76%

Mental Health

13%

13%

29%

22%

Feeling Isolated

16%

12%

29%

19%

Suicidal thoughts/ ideations

3%

2%

13%

9%

3,137

2,470

l

Three quarters (75%) of gamblers calling the Helpline were most likely to report being impacted by financial difficulties as a result of their problem gambling. This was followed by 49% identifying family/relationship difficulties, 10% general health concerns and 8% work difficulties. Unsurprisingly, for affected others, the most common impact described was family/ relationship difficulties, reported by 81% of callers.

Table 9: Impacts of problem gambling on Helpline callers 2019/20 and 2020/21 Affected Other

Gambler

2019/20

N=

l

11,857

12,686

Gambler

2019/20

2020/21

2019/20

2020/21

General Health

7%

6%

13%

10%

Domestic Abuse

4%

6%

1%

1%

Family/ Relationship Difficulties

83%

81%

54%

49%

Financial Difficulties

58%

53%

81%

75%

Housing Problems

6%

5%

7%

6%

Work Difficulties

5%

5%

11%

8%

Criminal Activity

2%

1%

4%

2%

3,137

2,470

11,857

12,686

N=

H E LP LINE DATA SU MMARY 2020-21 | GAMC ARE

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|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

Self-Reported Alcohol and Drug Misuse l

Self-Reported Debt Levels

Helpline callers reported low levels of drug and alcohol misuse, although this may be impacted by non-reporting issues.

Table 10: Drug and Alcohol Misuse of Helpline callers 2019/20 and 2020/21 Affected Other 2019/20

2020/21

2019/20

2020/21

Alcohol Misuse

1%

1%

5%

5%

Drug Misuse

1%

1%

3%

3%

3,137

2,470

11,857

12,686

N=

16

Gambler

The figures presented here are for gamblers only due to a high rate of non-disclosure for affected others, which anecdotally may be due to them not being fully aware of actual levels of debt. l

Over the past year, 66% of gamblers using the Helpline reported having some level of debt.

l

Of the gamblers presenting to the Helpline who provided an approximation of the level of debt, the most frequently mentioned was ‘less than £5000’ (40%), followed by £20,000 to £99,999 (19%).

Table 11: Reported debt levels of gamblers attending helpline 2020/21 Level of Debt

Helpline

Some debt

66%

No debt

34%

n=

8,957

Where debt level estimated: Less than £5,000

40%

£5,000 to £9,999

17%

£10,000 to £14,999

11%

£15,000 to £19,999

7%

£20,000 to £99,999

19%

£100,000 or more

2%

Bankruptcy/IVA

5%

n=

3,568


|  HELPLINE DATA SUMMARY  |

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H E LP LINE DATA SU MMARY 2020-21 | GAMC ARE


A Charitable Company Registered in England No. 3297914 A Charity Registered in England GamCare No. 1060005; Registered in 91-94 Saffron Hill Scotland No. SC050547 London EC1N 8QP 020 7801 7000 National Gambling Helpline Call free, 24/7: 0808 80 20 133 Chat via www.GamCare.org.uk