NHS to open young persons gambling clinic

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Stevens is the latest United Kingdom public health figurehead to call for the government to implement a "mandatory levy" on United Kingdom betting incumbents, stating that it would be unfair for taxpayers to 'pick-up the huge tab for the expansion of NHS services' tackling problem gambling.

Up to 14 more gambling addiction clinics, are expected to open in the United Kingdom in the coming months.

The first treatment centre specifically for children with gambling addictions is to be opened by NHS England.

Simon Stevens, Chief Executive for the NHS in England, reportedly told The Guardian that the gambling industry spends approximately £1.5 billion ($1.9 billion) every year on advertising and marketing campaigns but is shelling out just a fraction of this amount on helping people deal with their addictions.

According to a report from The Guardian, the initial treatment facility is due to premiere in London later in the year before being followed by similar undertakings for the northern cities of Leeds, Manchester and Sunderland.

Mr Stevens said: "The links between problem gambling and stress, depression and mental health problems are growing and there are too many stories of lives lost and families destroyed".

Warning industry leadership, Stevens lambasted betting firm's minimal spending on problem gambling, noting that betting firms had spent £1.5 billion on United Kingdom advertising, whilst contributing just £10 million towards addiction treatment.

The Gambling Commission says that 55,000 children are classed as having a gambling problem, just part of the hundreds of thousands of people in England who have a serious problem with gambling.

Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones founder and director of the National Problem Gambling Clinic and the Royal College of Psychiatrists' spokeswoman on behavioural addictions, said: "Gambling disorder is a destructive condition which doesn't discriminate".

Some 5% of 11-16-year-olds had spent their own money on online gambling in the past 12 months, with 6% of those using a parent or guardian's account.

Some 13% had also played gambling-style games online, with 31% opening "loot boxes" in a computer game or app.

Research from The Gambling Commission has shown that around 450,000 young people are thought to bet regularly in the UK.

In April, gambling charity GambleAware called for United Kingdom operators to provide more financial support for its problem gambling treatment efforts after industry funding failed to meet its 2018-19 target.

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