Sunday, July 14, 2024

Football has gambling blind spot, says Liverpool addiction expert

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A new service tackling a “surge” in gambling addiction says the problem plays a role in “hundreds of deaths each year”.

The North West Gambling Service (NWGS) said the NHS was “picking up the tab” for the online betting industry, with football described as having a “major gambling problem”.

Dr Matt Gaskell, head of the NWGS, said the gambling industry had designed a “perfect storm” for addiction.

The UK industry is worth about £15bn.

NWGS provides treatment for gambling problems as well as for those with mental health conditions.

Dr Gaskell, a consultant psychologist and expert in gambling addiction, spoke at the launch of NWGS’s new Liverpool clinic and said football had a “blind spot” to the harm caused by gambling.

He said: “Gambling is killing people, there are hundreds of gambling-related suicides every year, there’s misery and desperation across our communities.

“So we want football to take that a lot more seriously and for them to stand up and say ‘no that’s no ok’, and for them to pull out of that sponsorship.”

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