|Leading doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) have highlighted the need for gambling addicts to receive better NHS treatment, urging the gaming industry to pay £10 million a year to fund it.|
The BMA claimed the growth in online gambling has led to a marked rise in addiction, and also warned the imminent relaxation in gambling laws could add significantly to the growing number of addicts - particularly among female and teenage players.
The BMA's Dr Vivienne Nathanson said that gambling addiction is low on the priority list for the NHS, trailing well behind drugs and alcohol. “There are insufficient treatment facilities available. Problems can include anxiety, depression, guilt and suicidal thoughts,” she explained.
“The BMA is calling on the gaming industry to pay at least £10 million per annum to fund research, prevention and intervention programmes.”
Studies have shown that there are a minimum of 300,000 problem gamblers in the UK. Experts predict that the number of gambling addicts may soar after the introduction of the Gambling Act in September, which gives the green light to the building of a host of new casinos.