Report finds UK’s TalkBanStop effective in reducing gambling-related harm

Early findings released today from TalkBanStop – a partnership between GamCare, Gamban and GAMSTOP – highlights the positive impact it’s had so far in reducing gambling-related harm.

TalkBanStop, a pilot for an initial 12 months, brings together practical free tools and support which can help people to stop gambling and maintain a successful recovery for anyone harmed by gambling. It offers a combination of personal support via GamCare’s trained advisers, free access to Gamban blocking software which can be installed on multiple devices, and signposting to register for the free self-exclusion scheme, GAMSTOP.

Evaluated by Ipsos Mori, early research indicates that people who have made use of all three layers of support report a lower appetite to gamble and a reduction in gambling-related harms. Awareness of the TalkBanStop campaign was also found to have increased among people who need it most, with knowledge of the free tools and support particularly high amongst those whose gambling was considered to be problematic.

According to Ipsos Mori, a further important outcome of the layered approach was the positive state of mind it gave people looking to stop gambling. Those surveyed said that the option to use multiple tools had altered their perceptions about accessing gambling sites, viewing them as big obstacles to visiting betting sites and subsequently reducing their appetite to gamble.

The key findings from the analysis were:

  • Awareness of the pilot’s services and tools among the general public has increased and is particularly high among those whose gambling was considered to be problematic.
  • People’s perceptions were altered by engaging in the pilot; the tools were viewed as big obstacles to accessing gambling sites, resulting in a reduced appetite to gamble.
  • Advisors on the National Gambling Helpline have been effective in promoting Gamban and GAMSTOP, providing clear information on the pilot’s tools and helping callers understand the benefits to taking a layered approach.
  • For individuals who stopped or reduced their gambling online, a noticeable reduction in gambling-related harms was observed, primarily financial- and relationship-centric ones.
  • Over the course of the pilot, all three partners have established a common shared vision and commitment to deliver against the pilot’s objectives.

 

An anonymous participant enrolled in the pilot said: “The fact that I’ve used that service [GAMSTOP] with the blocking software and the counselling has given me three big pillars to stand on. I can’t do it anyway on my phone, and I’m getting it in my mindset through the counselling that I don’t want to do it and that I’m changing my behaviours towards it.”

Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive at GamCare, commented: “Since the TalkBanStop campaign started there has been huge value in the collaboration of the three partners, all of which have a shared aspiration in reducing gambling harms. What we’ve seen through the pilot is the ability to share best-practice with one another and provide the tools and support to make it as easy as possible for people to get help in one place.”

“We believe the impact of our interventions, layered together, amplifies the effects of the others for the individual in recovery, just as our coming together as organisations has multiplied our efforts to achieve greater impact. Going forward, we want TalkBanStop to become normalised as a first port of call for anyone looking to stop or control their gambling.”