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London Assembly Investigates Health Impacts of Gambling

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The London Assembly’s health committee has launched an inquiry to examine the impact of gambling on the well-being of London residents.

The investigation is open to all individuals with “experience or knowledge of the health impacts of gambling in London.” It aims to find answers to how a problematic relationship with gambling can influence health, the available support provided by the NHS, and potential actions Mayor Sadiq Khan can take to reduce these harms. City Hall has urged anyone affected to share their stories.

We want anyone who has engaged in harmful gambling or has been affected by someone else’s gambling to share their experiences with the health committee. We exist to be the voice for Londoners and your experiences will help to inform our work and recommendations to the Mayor.

Dr. Onka SahotaLondon Assembly Health Committee Chairman

NHS Sees Increase in Problem Gambling Cases

The initiative was partly prompted by NHS chief executive Amanda Pritchard's summer warning about the health service seeing “record numbers of people” seeking treatment for gambling addiction.

She further stated that referrals to NHS gambling harm services had increased by over a third compared to the previous year. 1,389 referrals were recorded in 2022/23 in contrast to the 1,013 in 2021/22.

In response to the rising problem gambling cases, NHS England intends to provide treatment for up to 3,000 patients annually across 15 clinics.

In July, the NHS announced that it would open seven new centers in Milton Keynes, Thurrock in Essex, Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Blackpool, and Sheffield. These were to be in addition to its eight existing health clinics in London, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent, and Telford, Shropshire.

The Gambling Commission has estimated that approximately 0.3 percent of the population, roughly 138,000 individuals, may be involved in 'harmful' gambling. Additionally, 2.9 percent, approximately 1.3 million individuals, are believed to be participating in 'moderate or low-risk' gambling.

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