For the launch of TalkBanStop, a 12-month pilot that debuts today and provides three free resources to help people stop gambling, GamCare, Gamban, and Gamstop have united.
The pilot will demonstrate the advantages of integrating free resources with realistic tools to help people avoid gambling, in order to promise more help for those struggling this Christmas.
GamCare’s qualified advisers on the National Gambling Helpline are the three main measures and supporting tools; Gamban software that blocks links to thousands of global gambling sites and apps; and Gamstop self-exclusion that prohibits all online operators across the UK from accessing and developing new gambling accounts.
Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare explained: “After a particularly challenging year when many have been impacted by job losses and reduced income, Christmas can be a difficult time for those struggling to stop gambling.
“The TalkBanStop campaign sends a message of hope to those who are struggling with gambling but don’t know how to start their recovery journey, by providing free tools and support that give breathing space to reflect on what’s going on. The first step is simply talking to someone.
“There is support out there to help you make empowered choices about your recovery, and we urge anyone suffering in silence to be inspired by Michael and Chris. They show it can happen to anyone, but if they can get through it, so can you.”
The web address of TalkBanStop will take users directly to where they can contact each service, as well as provide additional tips on how to block bank gambling.
Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission CEO said: “Christmas can be a challenging time for those experiencing gambling related harm so we are particularly pleased with this collaborative approach to offer joined up and comprehensive services to consumers.
“We are also happy to approve funding of the blocking software pilot and evaluation element of this work through the distribution of regulatory settlement money to properly identify what works.”
A new film that sees Michael Chopra talk to Chris Gilham about their mutual experiences of gambling addiction and what gave them hope in their path of rehabilitation coincides with the launch.
For those dealing with gambling, the Christmas season poses a greater danger, and GamCare warns that the pandemic has only intensified common risk factors, like loneliness, boredom or money worries.
Michael Chopra addresses the peer to peer support he gained from a former manager during the debate. He said:
“I never ever let anything get in the way of my football but as soon as the whistle went, my mind just suddenly changed and all of a sudden I was thinking about gambling.
“Then I decided to speak to Roy Keane, he was brilliant. He really took his time to speak to me and took time out of training. It was Roy that really got me the help that I needed.
“There is light at the end of the tunnel. When you’re going through a dark phase you don’t think that. If you’re struggling like I was and need support, head to TalkBanStop.com.”
Gilham added: “It wasn’t until my mum said to me ‘he’s ready’ and that it really struck me as she knew I was ready. Until I was ready, it wasn’t going to change.
“I was then able to tell my wife that I needed help and that was going to change. That was over three years ago and I haven’t gambled since that day.”