53% of adults in the UK are gamblers, an NHS study reveals.

The 2018 Health Survey identifies the biggest group of gamblers were men aged 25-34, with 64% having gambled in the past 12 months.

NHS boss Simon Stevens said: ‘These new stats are a stark reminder of how common gambling is in our society, and how easy it is to become addicted, particularly with the aggressive push into online gambling.

Online betting apps and websites have made gambling more accessible than before, with more than half of women aged 45-64 admitting to gambling in the last year.

Salford is not short of bookies, there are six in the Salford Shopping City alone. With interactive games and attractive sign-up bonuses, the appeal of gambling is undeniably alluring.

Image credit Thomas Bowen

A recovering gambling addict, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to Salford Now about his addiction:

“It was just a bit of fun in the beginning, it made watching the football more interesting. But then my parents sat me down as I didn’t realise how much I had spent.

“You win some, you lose some. But before I knew it I had already spent 2 or 3 thousand pounds”.

When asked what advice he would give to those currently struggling with a gambling addiction, he said:

“If you feel like you’ve got a problem, speak to someone because it helps”

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The issue of Gambling is being recognised in politics, and some are calling on the current Gambling Act to be reformed.

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If re-elected, the Conservative Party will review the Gambling Act, focusing on tackling issues around credit card misuse and loot boxes.

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party have stated they would introduce a brand new Gambling Act ‘fit for the digital age’. They, like the Conservative Party, have recognised that the 2005 Act is not up-to-date with modern practices.

If you have been affected by gambling addiction, Beacon Counselling Trust in Salford offers services to those affected.

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