Cost of living crisis ‘to prompt increase in harmful gambling among women’

·2-min read
Cost of living crisis ‘to prompt increase in harmful gambling among women’

The cost of living crisis is expected to spark an increase in harmful gambiling among women as they scramble to supplement their income, a charity has cautioned.

According to a survey by GambleAware, nearly one in four women (24 per cent) aged 18-49 who gamble are expected to do so more in the coming months due to soaring domestic costs, with 12 per cent already turning to gambiling to boost their household income.

It also noted that a fifth of women (21 per cent) are also already experiencing health challenges, including stress and anxiety, due to gambling, a survey for the charity suggests.

The winter months often prompt already a spike in traffic to gambling websites among women, but the charity fears this will increase due to the concurrent cost of living squeeze.

In response, the charity has launched a prevention campaign targeting women to raise awareness of the support available for those who may be struggling.

The campaign challenges the stigma around women who gamble, encouraging them and their loved ones to spot early warning signs.

The survey of more than 1,600 women who gamble found that one in three (32 per cent) would be reluctant to speak to a family member about concerns over their gambling, with nearly half (49 per cent) of these women citing shame as a key barrier.

Some 63 per cent felt women’s gambling is seen as less acceptable than men’s, with one in five (19 per cent) already hiding or downplaying their gambling.

GambleAware chief executive Zoe Osmond said: “As financial hardships accelerate amid the cost-of-living crisis, and the number of women gambling online increases, we are concerned it is creating a perfect storm which may lead to a rise in the number of women experiencing gambling harm.

Jo Mustafa attends an event to launch GambleAware's prevention campaign specifically targeted at women, aiming to challenge stigma around gambling (PA)
Jo Mustafa attends an event to launch GambleAware's prevention campaign specifically targeted at women, aiming to challenge stigma around gambling (PA)

“We must break down the pervasive stigma that prevents too many women from seeking out vital support.”

She added: “If you are worried about your gambling or are starting to lose track of time, spending more than you can afford or hiding your gambling from others, please don’t hesitate to visit BeGambleAware.org for free confidential support, or call the National Gambling Helpline on 0808 8020 133.”

Opinium surveyed 1,606 women online who had gambled in the previous month between 11-18 August.