GamCare is an organisation that provides advice, support, information and free counselling in order to prevent or treat problem gambling. GamCare is UK based and focused and was founded back in 1997.
GamCare understands many people in the UK gamble and their aim is to improve the understanding of how gambling impacts society, to encourage a responsible approach to gambling and help those who are affect by gambling in any way. They do this by providing national telephone help lines as well as online support for anyone who is affected by a gambling problem. In 2007, GamCare handled nearly 40,000 calls from gamblers or family members who sought help with gambling. They also provide face to face counselling in person as well as online – this is all free too. Finally, they have a forum and chat rooms available.
Furthermore, GamCare develops and implements policies that encourage responsible gambling via their certification scheme. The aim of this is to help gambling operators implement their code of practice in order to protect their players. In order for an operator to be certified, they need to implement the following methods:
- Age Verification – a system to verify a player’s age via identification.
- Advertising and Promotion – standards that conform to being socially responsible.
- Customer Led Functionality – players are able to set spend limits and session limits.
- Self-Exclusion – a player can exclude themselves from the website.
- Responsible Gambling Content – information about responsible gaming and help to be present on websites.
- Reality Checks – websites should have appropriate information on currency and display of time.
- Account Controls – policies and mechanisms must be present to address multiple card or account usage.
- Free Play – controls must be in place when players access free play games.
- Training – customer support agents must be trained to deal with social responsibility and problem gambling.
Basically, GamCare is in place to protect you should you have any problems relating to gambling. If you feel you cannot stop gambling or are using funds you need for other things such as paying your mortgage or bills, GamCare is there to help you resolve your gambling issues via a variety of methods such as their telephone service, their forum, online service or via counselling. The service they offer is free and should be used if you think you or a family member needs support to deal with gambling.
If you feel you have a gambling problem, we recommend you visit http://www.gamcare.org.uk or give them a call on 0845 6000 133.
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