GamCare was established in 1997 for the sole purpose of offering fully independent and 100% free support, advice, information and counseling for those with gambling problems at all levels. It is the largest of all British gambling charities, operating online and telephone helplines throughout the year for those in need of professional advice and assistance.
The official mission statement from GamCare states that the organisation “does not wish to restrict the choices or opportunities for anyone to operate or engage in gambling opportunities that are available legally and operated responsibly.” The information and advice offered is honest, objective and non-judgemental.
According to GamCare, the group was established with three primary objectives, which are as follows:
- To improve the understanding of the social impact of gambling.
- To promote a responsible approach to gambling.
- To address the needs of those adversely affected by a gambling dependency.
When GamCare first came into existence almost two decades ago, it was set up as an independent advice line for gambling problems by Adrian Scarfe and Dr Mark Griffiths. It would eventually go on to become a highly acclaimed and registered charity, attracting hundreds of calls from concerned gamblers every day.
In addition to helping gamblers directly, GamCare also offers training and assistance to those working within the British gambling industry. The group plays a key role in nurturing and encouraging safe and responsible gambling, high level player protection and free access to information. When a gambling service provider fully complies with the group’s extensive Code of Practice, it receives full ‘GamCare Certification’.
As such, this represents another badge of honour that should be looked for when choosing an online casino.
Help from GamCare
GamCare offers fully anonymous and completely free advice by way of its helpline, though is also involved in arranging in-person counseling for those with gambling problems. The group also launched another service called ‘BigDeal’ in 2012, which offers the same kind of advice, assistance and education though in this instance focus on individuals aged 12 to 18.
Getting in Touch
In terms of when to get in touch, the general rule of thumb is that there is no such thing as a time too early to speak to the professionals. If you have even the slightest concern that you or anyone else you know of may have a gambling problem, GamCare should be the first call you make. It is a completely free and anonymous service run by some of the most experienced and capable experts in the country.
You may not personally be able to determine whether or not you really do have a gambling problem – expert advice can help clarify the matter.
Free helpline: 0808 8020 133
Address: GamCare, 2nd Floor, 7-11 St John’s Hill, London, SW11 1TR