New Problem Gambling Center Opens in London

Problem Gambling Center
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The Primary Care Gambling Service (PCGS), a problem gambling treatment center backed by UK’s National Health Service (NHS), opened in London. The center was the health regulators’ response to the growing cases of problem gambling in the country.

Problem gambling is one of the risks the gambling industry brings. Regulators pushed the control and regulation of the gambling industry to reduce the cases of problem gambling. The risk of problem gambling is higher in illegal gambling facilities and platforms because of the absence of rules and guidelines to follow.

Most illegal gambling sites have no waging limits and offer addictive promos to attract more clients. Many countries, including the UK, started accepting applications for both land-based and online casinos and sportsbooks to answer the demand of gamblers and divert their attention to illegal gaming.

National Gambling Treatment Service and PCGS partners to help problem gamblers

Hurley Group, a general practice partnership of the NHS, funded and developed the new treatment center. PCGS and the National Gambling Treatment Service will work as one in catering to problem gamblers’ needs.

Dr. Clare Gerada will head the new service center with mental health experts’ support, including nurses, general practitioners, treatment practitioners, and therapists. PCGS will partner with GamCare in providing an integrated care program and provide training for general practitioners in identifying patterns of problem gambling among patients.

Dr. Gerada said evidence that people with problems in gambling try to contact their care providers, but they don’t discuss their gambling habits. She added that PCGS would help practitioners identify problem gambling patients to be given access to the appropriate treatment needed. The doctor noted that in other fields, customers value the chance of getting treatment in the primary care setting.

PCGS expands across the UK

The new service center will provide services to customers in South East London, including Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Bexley, Bromley, and Greenwich. The center plans to extend help in other parts of the UK.

PCGS plans to develop a competency framework to be used in treating the early stages of problem gambling.

The service center aims to develop the skills and experience of health care practitioners. PCGS gained the support of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Micheal Mulholland, Royal College of General Practitioners’ professional development officer, said they welcome the development of a competency framework in treating problem gamblers in primary care. The framework is expected to develop general practitioners’ skills and other primary care providers in treating people with gambling-related problems.

Advisory Board for Safer Gambling Chair Anna van der Gaag recognized the significance of the new initiative in expanding the treatment options for people with gambling-related problems. Ms van der Gaag said the board wanted to provide a more accessible treatment and remove all barriers that forbid problem gamblers from seeking assistance.

She added that PCGS is one of the initiatives that inspire them to start an integrative approach, and they are looking forward to the lessons they will learn while working with the service center.

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