GambleAware published a set of statistics providing transparency on the progress of the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS).

The findings included 9,008 NGTS patients from April 2019 to March 2020, with most of them improving their scores in the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI).

The NGTS was expanded last year and provides confidential treatment for individuals affected by gambling-related harms.

Many NGTS participants improved their gambling situations after receiving treatment 

ViewItUK, an independent data company based in Manchester, conducted the NGTS progress report.

GambleAware’s findings revealed that three-in-five people defined as ‘problem gamblers’ before their treatment were not after receiving it. Moreover, 74% of people who sought help saw their psychological distress drop to ‘moderate’.

Overall, 90% of patients bettered their PGSI scores, which ranks how problematic people’s relationship with gambling is on a scale of 1 to 10.

Engagement from patients is also improving. 69% of individuals completed their scheduled treatment in 2019/2020, a 10% rise from 2015/16. Just 24% dropped out of their treatment, compared to 35% four years ago.

Breaking down the demographics of NGTS patients 

75% of the 2019/2020 NGTS patients identified as male, with 89% of those being from a white ethnic background. 5% of participants were either Asian or Asian British, with 3% being Black or Black British.

The average age of patients was 34. 25% said their problem gambling habits had started by the age of 19, with a further 50% mentioning this had happened by 24-years-old.

71% of NGTS patients were in debt because of their gambling habits. 45% of these said that they either owed £5,000, were bankrupt, or had started a voluntary agreement. 16% had gotten into a much worse situation, owing between £20,000 and £99,999.

“A significant milestone” 

GambleAware CEO Marc Etches, who will soon be leaving the organisation, signed off the report. He said that while there was a lot of progress over the 12 months, raising further awareness of available help was necessary.

He said:

“The publication of this detailed analysis, of the impact the National Gambling Treatment Service can have on people receiving support, is a significant milestone.

“GambleAware commissioned ViewItUK to independently collate and analyse output and outcome data, which will allow GambleAware to rigorously evaluate these outcomes on the basis of robust and comparable evidence.

“We are committed to informing the development of best practice and outstanding care for those experiencing gambling harms in Great Britain, and the data reporting system we are pioneering is designed to be made available to the NHS, Public Health, local authorities and other statutory and voluntary sector agencies to meet the needs of local communities.”