|A Greenwich University expert has announced that online gambling has led to an alarming increase in the number of vulnerable women gamblers.|
According to Professor Roslyn Corney, women are turning to the Internet to gamble anonymously, causing debt and relationship problems, with those already struggling to earn a living, having difficulty raising young children or coping with bereavement particularly vulnerable.
'Many of the women I have spoken to say they see it as a way of putting all their problems behind them and they can get totally absorbed in it,” said Corney.
'But, of course, the trouble is it brings them additional problems and difficulties including mental health issues.'
Faith Freestone, a specialist in female gambling for the Gordon House Association charity in Beckenham south of London, said that female gamblers in the area are on the increase and face losing everything.
'When a woman comes to us, gambling has cost them everything,” said Freestone.
“They may be homeless, have no friends or family, they could have been in prison or attempted suicide. Gambling knows no tolerance level unlike other addictions.'
She said that, although it may be difficult to gauge for sure the effects online gambling may have on the number of problem women gamblers, anecdotal evidence suggests the numbers have increased.
Professor Corney stated that the Internet adds to the risk of problem gambling because it is highly accessible and easy to gamble in secret.
'You don't have to leave the house to do it and you can place bets both day and night,” said Corney. 'There's little or nothing to stop you chasing your losses except yourself.'