Problem gambling charity Gordon Moody Association has reported a significant increase in addiction inquiries and the use of its support services for Q3 2020, as the UK remains in lockdown.
The charity, who treats severely addicted gamblers, saw its gambling therapy online chats increase by 22% year-on-year to more than 6,000, while applications for treatment increased by 13%.
The Association also saw traffic to its website increase by 9% from the previous year and the amount of use for its pre-support services was up by 15% for Q3. The charity found the coronavirus lockdown has seen a shift towards it online services and that cases have gone up due to the nationwide stay at home order.
That has seen an average of 182 interactions with the charity’s services per week for Q3, while tighter lockdown restrictions have seen those seeking residential treatment fluctuating with people more likely to avoid help.
Gordon Moody CEO Matthew Hickey said: “The last year has tested every section of society and organisation to the limit. We are acutely aware that only 3% of people in need of treatment for gambling addiction issues actually receive it, and we have strained every collective nerve to ensure we can be contacted by those most needing help in 2020.
“We have plans to increase residential capacity later in the year — through our new female-only residential centre and getting back to full capacity at our male residential centres — and we have secured support to further grow our outreach service, reflecting the demand that has been generated through the COVID pandemic.”
Last month, Hickey spoke to the GI Huddle as part of our problem gambling series, discussing the Association’s plans to open its first ever gambling clinic just for women, and more, which can be viewed here.