Stigma Cited As Primary Obstacle In Women Gamblers Seeking Recovery Facilities

Research commissioned by GambleAware and conducted by YouGov has been published, with the goal of establishing a deeper understanding of women and gambling experiences.

The study found that more than one-third (35 percent) of female gamblers, experiencing high rates of harm and having an 8 + PGSI score, are from a BAME background, compared to 12 percent of the overall female population.

tThis same pattern is also observed among male gamblers, with 29 percent of men with an 8 + PGSI score coming from a BAME background, compared to 12 percent of men overall.

Stigma was cited as an overwhelming reason not to access treatment services, with researchers reporting that this rationale had been cited by a higher proportion of women than men.

Two in five (39 percent) female problem gamblers said feeling ashamed or not wanting people to find out about their gambling was a main obstacle, compared to just over one in five (22 percent) male problem gamblers, among those who didn’t want medication, advice or encouragement to help them cut their gambling.

However, it is especially important for female problem gamblers to realise that counselling and care will be confidential, with one in five (20 percent) believing this would be a key motivating factor.

GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings explained: “This report has highlighted not only the challenges that need to be overcome, but also the opportunities available to service providers to help increase take-up of treatment and support to help reduce and prevent gambling harms among women.

“Across our treatment network, in line with the National Gambling Treatment Service, we are working with women to better understand the barriers they may face when it comes to seeking advice or help for their gambling, or experience as an affected other, so that we can continue to ensure they have access the services they need, regardless of their gender or background.”

In addition, it was also found that eight percent of women fall into the category of ‘affected others,’ those who experience harm as a result of gambling by someone else, and that 16 percent of them came from a BAME background

Researchers have found that women are more negatively affected by a close family member’s gambling than men, with 35 percent of all females affected, compared to only 9 percent of males, being negatively affected by a spouse’s or partner’s gambling.

It was found, however, that men were more likely to be affected by a friend’s or flatmate’s gambling than women, with 33 percent citing this, compared to just 9 percent of women. Among those affected by a parent’s gambling, 88 percent of women said this had a moderate or severe negative impact, compared to 75 percent of men.

GambleAware CEO Marc Etches said on the findings: “This research indicates that women, particularly in the capacity as an affected other, experience gambling harms in different ways to men and this report is an important first step in understanding those differences.

“This research was commissioned to help treatment providers, such as those operating via the National Gambling Treatment Service, address any barriers people may face when it comes to accessing help and support for their gambling and it is essential that services are flexible and meet the needs of individuals.”