More support for gamblers with problems

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NEW initiatives are being worked on to make it easier for people with gambling problems to get help, according to the Island’s gambling commission.

Jason Lane

The UK is planning to ban the use of credit cards to gamble online to prevent people running up debts.

In Jersey, the chief executive of the Jersey Gambling Commission, Dr Jason Lane, has said there are dozens of people who have issues with gambling rather than the hundreds and thousands that are seen in the UK.

He believes support is available to gamblers but says further initiatives are being worked on.

He said: ‘There is a huge problem with gambling, yes. Is there a problem in the Island? No. Are we doing enough to help people who have problems? Yes. Could we do more? Yes, we could.

‘There are people in the Island with issues, but we are talking dozens, not the hundreds and thousands that are in the UK. Even if it is just one person, or five people, our priority is making sure they have the help they need if they want it.

‘We have the app that can help people with advice, but we are looking at and exploring with the health service and services in the third sector to provide more help and education and make it easier for people to get that help.

‘Betting companies pay into a fund that is designed for education and helping people with addiction, so that money will go towards this.’

Dr Lane added that an academic study to find out how many people in Jersey had a gambling addiction would be a good thing, but it would cost a lot of money and the numbers would be very small compared to the UK.

He added: ‘To have a full-blown academic study would cost hundreds of thousands of pounds and it would not be worthwhile. That is money we would rather spend on helping people who need it.

‘Whether there are five, 50 or 500 people who have a problem, our priority is that they have the right tools to access help if they want it.’

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