April 20, 2024

Is gambling on the rise for women?

A leading gambling-awareness charity has warned that the cost of living crisis may lead to an increase in the number of women engaging in gambling.

An online survey of 1,606 women aged 18-49 (who had gambled in the last month) conducted by Opinium found that 24% of women expected to gamble more due to the cost of living crisis and that one in ten (12%) had already turned to gambling in an attempt to supplement their household income.

In response to the findings, GambleAware has launched a campaign to challenge the stigma surrounding women who gamble, encouraging them and their loved ones to spot early warning signs around their gambling before it escalates.

GLAMOUR spoke to Emily Clarkson and Alex Light, the hosts of Should I Delete That? , who have partnered with GambleAware on their campaign, to find out more about how we can reduce the stigma around women who struggle with gambling:

GLAMOUR: Hi, Emily and Alex! It’s great to chat with you today. Can you explain why you’ve decided to support this campaign?

Emily and Alex: We decided to support this campaign because women and gambling is an issue that is not spoken about enough.

Many people don’t realise this, but 6 million women in the UK have gambled over the last month. That’s a lot of women! However, what’s really terrifying is that up to one million of them risk experiencing harm from gambling.

Despite gambling being really popular amongst women, they don’t often talk about it with other people. Keeping any concerns around their gambling bottled up means they are at risk of different types of harm, including feeling anxious or arguing with their friends and family. There is also a general lack of awareness of gambling harms among women, which can exacerbate the harm they experience, leading to shame, and guilt and holding them back from seeking treatment if they need it.

We have never been afraid of tackling topics that others might find awkward or want to avoid – in fact, we thrive on talking about them! We decided to partner up with GambleAware on this campaign to encourage women to open up the conversation around gambling and raise awareness of vital support available for those who may be struggling.

What do you think stops women from opening up about gambling compared to men?

We came into this campaign without a huge amount of knowledge about gambling, but one of the main misconceptions we had was that gambling harms only really affected men! What we’ve now discovered is the number of women receiving gambling treatment has actually doubled in the past five years, and one in five women are already experiencing health challenges like stress and anxiety because of their gambling.

In addition, and we hadn’t realised this, but women’s experience of gambling harms differs to men’s in quite a few ways. Women experience more stigma and shame around their gambling, they are more likely to say it causes them mental health issues, and they are less likely to access support and treatment. These are very concerning differences and show why this is such an important conversation to be had.

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