Gambling addiction is a growing problem in the UK, with experts warning that more and more women are becoming addicted to online gambling sites and losing thousands of pounds in the process. Many of these gambling sites are targeting women, specifically, with innocent looking pages that are decorated with images such as animals and cupcakes.
This is a very serious issue as many women are developing destructive gambling addictions that are destroying their lives. Gambling has, for many years, been a traditionally male pursuit, but with the growth of the internet, women are now becoming hooked on betting. There is no need to go to a seedy looking betting shop or to a casino to gamble; it can be done from the comfort of one’s home, and in most cases it can be done in secret. Many husbands are unaware that their wives are gambling away hundreds or thousands of pounds at a time.
Liz Karter is a therapist that specialises in treating women with gambling addictions. She has warned that gambling addiction is a growing problem and says that it is easy for women to move from playing online games to a full blown addiction to gambling.
She believes that technology has made it even easier for gambling addictions to develop, with some women starting off with non-betting games such as Candy Crush. She said, “You can do it in the office, on the commute, on your tablet — not just at home. It’s so easy to hide now.”
She said one of her patients had started to play Candy Crush on her journey home from work each day and thought that gambling games would be much the same until she had amassed £15,000 of debt in just nine months. Ms Karter said, “She liked the sense of going into another world that she got when gambling.”
The woman was gambling while at work and, when she maxed out her credit cards, she borrowed from her mother and payday loan companies. She only sought help for her addiction when her husband found her bank statements. According to Ms Karter, many gambling addicts are completely unaware of how much they are spending on gambling.
Ms Karter said that while most of her patients three or four years ago were on low incomes or single parents, these days almost two-thirds are doctors, teachers, bankers or lawyers. She said that they are ‘crippled with guilt’ and that many suffer from anxiety or depression because of it.
It is thought that many women use online gambling sites to escape the pressures of their busy lives. Those with stressful jobs or are staying at home to look after their children are often targeted by TV adverts for gambling sites.
With a host of animated games and an online community, these sites are luring in thousands of bored and lonely women. Adverts show women who have won huge amounts, and many of these sites offer free bets for new account holders. Some even have VIP clubs where members are rewarded with trips and prizes as well as free bets.
Ms Karter went on to say, “Many of the women I speak to don’t gamble online for the thrill of winning; it’s about finding a way of escaping their problems for a few hours. While some people might turn to alcohol or drugs, these women have such busy lives, that’s not possible. With gambling, you can escape your problems, but still get up to go to work in the morning or look after the baby.”
Help for Addiction
Thankfully, there are many places where those with addictions to gambling can get help. Addiction Helper has an enormous network of treatment providers working hard to offer effective treatments to patients struggling with all types of addiction. If you need help for addiction, call our team today for information and advice.