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Thousands Of Gamblers In Leeds Are At Risk Of Harm, New Report Says

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A new report has found that around 30,000 people in Leeds are at risk of harm due to their gambling behaviour.

Leeds City Council published a report this week using research from Leeds Beckett University. The report estimates that the city currently has around 10,000 problem gamblers while another 30,000 may be at risk of developing an addiction. Among them are young people, those with mental health issues and people on low incomes.

According to the report, around 1.8% of the adult population in Leeds are problem gamblers with a further 5-6% of the population are at risk. People who are at risk tend to experience some difficulties with their gambling but are generally not considered to be addicts.

Despite the extensive research, the council’s report suggested that it was difficult to accurately identify people suffering from gambling addictions due to the low-level of self-reporting. The report also found that most people feel ashamed of their gambling and the negative consequences of it, leading them to rarely report any signs of addictions.

Leeds’ New Gambling Clinic

The report was published one month after the opening of the Northern Gambling Service clinic last month, the first gambling clinic located outside of London. According to reports, the new clinic will offer support to people suffering from problem gambling in the North of England.

The clinic comes as part of a collaboration between gambling charity GamCare, the Leeds City Council and the Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (LYPFT). What’s more, the clinic itself is being funded by gambling charity GambleAware and is reportedly the first of its kind with many more planned to launch within the coming years.

Meanwhile, GamCare will reportedly educate Leeds residents on the prevention of gambling harm and also provide residents in the city with information on treating the disorder. Staff who work at casinos and in the health sector in the area will also receive training on identifying people at risk or suffering from a problem.

Matt Gaskell of the LYPTF said in a statement: “Over the years I’ve seen the harm that problem gambling can inflict on people. It is vital that we work together to provide a range of accessible and effective services to reduce these harms. Our services in Leeds and across the North of England will provide specialist addiction support and treatment to people affected by gambling addiction or disorder, as well as those with more complex mental health problems such as depression and suicidal feelings.”

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