Leading gambling support charity GamCare is launching a comprehensive toolkit for financial institutions, gambling businesses and debt advice agencies across the UK to help them recognise, support and refer customers experiencing gambling-related financial harms, and provide consistent communications across all points of the customer journey.
Year on year, around 70% of callers to the National Gambling Helpline, operated by GamCare, mention some level of gambling debt or financial hardship. Both gamblers themselves and their loved ones can experience harms because of gambling. A gambler in financial hardship will likely come into contact with many different services when trying to address that harm, but the advice they receive could be inconsistent and may miss important information. To address this, GamCare convened an expert advisory group, bringing together leading debt charities and agencies, high street banks and gambling businesses, and people with lived experience of gambling harms.
This is the first time representatives from these sectors have come together to address gambling related financial harms in a unified way. GamCare’s toolkit is aimed at giving organisations the tools to offer consistent, high quality customer communications about gambling risks, and improving access to support so that issues can be addressed as early as possible and don’t escalate. The toolkit is available for free on GamCare’s website, and consists of tailored materials for the banking, debt advice and gambling treatment sectors as well as gambling businesses.
These materials draw together best practice and are informed by the experiences of those who have been harmed by gambling as well as experts from each sector, so that they can tangibly improve customer interactions in future. The toolkit contains core customer messaging, referral pathway guidelines tailored to each sector, and guidance on training staff to give them confidence to support customers who are impacted by gambling harms. Together, these resources can help frontline staff in key industries provide effective, sensitive support to customers and ensure they receive the help they need.
Anna Hemmings, CEO at GamCare, says: “People struggling with gambling present in different ways and often opportunities are missed to provide the support they need. Ensuring that frontline staff are equipped to help and refer to appropriate support is a huge step in improving the outcomes these customers experience. This toolkit, with the support of businesses, charities and gambling operators themselves, is vital to putting those pathways in place.”
Lauren Iannarone, Director of Sustainability at Playtech, says: “The launch of this toolkit signals a significant milestone in our efforts to foster collaboration across sectors to prevent and address gambling related financial harm. The toolkit published today will help ensure that organisations – across the financial services, treatment, gambling and banking industries - deliver timely, consistent advice, support, interactions and signposting to those who need it most.”
GamCare launched their Gambling Related Financial Harms Programme in November 2019 to bring together the banking, gambling and debt relief sectors to tackle the everyday financial difficulties that can be caused by gambling through the promotion of best practice support, better identification and more effective customer support.
For more information visit: www.gamcare.org.uk