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UK: New analysis shows problem gamblers are more likely than others to have suicidal thoughts, attempt suicide and to harm themselves

George Miller

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UK: New analysis shows problem gamblers are more likely than others to have suicidal thoughts, attempt suicide and to harm themselves
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

GambleAware and the Gambling Commission have last week published the results of a small-scale research project that examines the link between problem gambling and suicide. The report will contribute to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms and is based on findings from the 2007 Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS).  Out of over 7,000 respondents, 41 were found to be problem gamblers and were identified as being more likely than others to have thought about suicide and to have attempted suicide in the past 12 months.

The results showed that of those identified by the survey as problem gamblers, one in five (19%) had thought about suicide in the past year, compared with 4% of non-problem gamblers/non-gamblers. 5% of problem gamblers reported they had made a suicide attempt in the past year, compared with 0.6% of those who showed no sign of problem gambling.

The survey analysis shows an association between problem gambling, suicidal behaviours and loneliness that warrants further investigation. Problem gamblers were more likely to feel lonely and isolated from other people than the rest of the population. Problem gamblers appeared to have a smaller network of people they felt close to and were less likely to feel that their friends and family gave them encouragement and support.

This analysis is based on data from the 2007 survey. The APMS survey repeated in 2014 but did not include questions on gambling. It is hoped that the Department of Health and Social Care will commission another Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey for 2021 and the authors recommend that questions on gambling behaviour be included in that study to explore the association between gambling and suicidality further.

In order to scope out what further research may be needed, a range of stakeholders, including those with lived experience of gambling harms, including addiction and bereavement due to suicide, attended a one-day workshop. The aim of the session was to better understand what knowledge gaps there were regarding gambling and suicide and to develop recommendations for future work.

Recommendations include:

  • The development of educational packages for clinicians, primary care providers and coroners to raise awareness of the association between gambling and suicidality.
  • The commissioning of a systematic review of evidence of the relationship between gambling and suicidality
  • The conduct of a psychological autopsy study to explore cases where gambling is related to suicide.

Marc Etches, CEO of GambleAware has said:

“There is limited data and research on the link between gambling and suicide and this research is just the start. This report has clearly identified the significant gaps in the data that is currently available and what steps we should be taking to get more evidence to help improve our knowledge and understanding of the relationship between gambling and suicide.

It is vital we all know what signs to look out for in a gambling addiction, so we can point people in the direction of help as and when they need it. We look forward to continuing to work with Government, particularly the Department of Health and Social Care, and all those involved to promote the help and services available at BeGambleAware.org.”

 Dr Heather Wardle, Assistant Professor at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine said:

“The harms from gambling are profound and can be devastating for individuals, families and communities. These results show how people with gambling problems are a higher risk group for suicidality. Everyone involved in providing, legislating and regulating gambling should recognise this risk and take action to prevent harm”.

Professor Ann John, Swansea University and Chair of the National Advisory Group to Welsh Government on Suicide and Self-harm prevention said

 ‘Death by suicide is usually in response to a complex interplay of a number of factors, it is rarely due to a single reason and is never inevitable.  However, there is no doubt that there has been a lack of recognition that there is an association between problem gambling and suicide.

‘Our research is a first step in understanding that association. Problem gamblers should be included as a high-risk group in suicide prevention strategies, efforts made to improve awareness, particularly in those providing services, and we need to encourage people to seek help before they reach a crisis point.’

Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said:

“This research is based on data from 2007 but nonetheless the findings clearly show a connection between suicide and gambling, something that has a real and devastating impact on people’s lives. Whilst further research and more timely data collection is essential, we are taking further action now to protect people from the risk of gambling harm.

“As a result of this research, the Commission and Samaritans will work together to bolster the existing requirements on gambling businesses to identify those at risk and take action to address and reduce harm.

“However, progress cannot be made by us alone, we need to work together to implement the priorities outlined in the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms, and the key recommendations of this research. This is vital to ensuring we have the best research, prevention and treatment services available for vulnerable individuals, their families, friends and communities.”

The three research documents are available below, along with a summary of the key findings and recommendations.

Report 1: Problem gambling and suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts and non-suicidal self-harm in England evidence from the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007

Report 2: Exploring problem gambling, loneliness and lifetime suicidal behaviours a cross-sectional study using the Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2007

Report 3: Scoping Current Evidence and Evidence-Gaps in Research on Gambling-Related Suicide

Executive summary

 

  • The survey was conducted over a decade ago and the sample was relatively small, with just 172 people identified as at risk of problem gambling and 41 identified as problem gamblers. Both problem gambling and past-year suicide attempts/thoughts are relatively rare, and the analyses were underpowered. The survey is cross-sectional in design and the data cannot be used to establish temporal sequencing in problem gambling and suicidality, nor causality.
  • The Commission’s Research Programme in support of the National Strategy includes an emphasis on measuring and understanding harm. A better understanding of gambling harms for adults and children and young people will help to target prevention and education initiatives where they will have most impact.

Industry News

Digitain scores a winner with its industry-first Live Table Football Odds Feed

George Miller

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Digitain scores a winner with its industry-first Live Table Football Odds Feed
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Available now to any operator, live streamed table football from Digitain with over 1500 games per month and over 50 markets per game.

Leading global sportsbook and casino platform provider Digitain has announced the launch of its latest in-house development, and a first for the industry – a live streamed table football feed, featuring professional players, supported by pre-play and in-play odds and player statistics.

This live table football feed is now being made available to any operator who wants to gain competitive advantage by offering this exciting package to their customers.

Operators’ customers everywhere can experience this exciting and entertaining initiative, designed to drive acquisition and retention of their customers, grow revenues and enhance competitiveness.

With over 400 matches played every week and with over 50 markets available to bet on in each match – this is product is a great boost for customers searching for entertaining action.

An AI generated odds feed and real-time statistical player data add to the excitement – combine that with the skills and strategy being streamed live from our exclusive studio – and you really have the complete package.

Definitely no spinning!

Amid widespread disruption to sporting events, Digitain continues to equip their 70+ international partners with a fantastic range of alternate revenue streams including premium quality betting options for esports, virtuals and alternative sporting markets and are now ready to release this great new product to the wider industry.

Martin Clarke, Director of Product Management at Digitain said: “Sports fans everywhere around are missing competitive sports and this new live odds feed will enable operators to differentiate their offering and to be more competitive at this challenging time.. We have exciting plans to further develop this innovation – and look forward to delivering further value to our partners” 

“Following in the footsteps of our recent new product launches; RocketOn, Crash and Penalty– our Live Table Football service marks the latest addition to our acclaimed in-house catalogue, as Digitain continues to help operators – old and new – to respond to fixture schedule disruption with action-packed alternatives.” 

Fully customised for the varied challenges of diverse legislative environments, Digitain’s comprehensive package of sports betting solutions received multiple awards for excellence in 2019, including the EGR, RGW, CEEGC and BEGE Awards.

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Industry News

Record month for GrooveGaming

George Miller

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Record month for GrooveGaming
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Aggregator GrooveGaming has integrated 36 casinos and sportsbooks in one month, demonstrating that the technology platform and the software teams supporting it are consistently delivering a high level of service.

With this record-breaking month, GrooveGaming has reinforced its plug-and-play credentials as the aggregator of choice to some of the industry’s biggest names.

Casinos and sportsbooks who integrated on the GrooveGaming platform this past month included 222online.com, betcasino168.com, perubet.pe, camanbetus.com, betswing.com, jazzgs.com, betsan.bet, betfran.com and juegueygane.com, amongst the 36 who have started to enjoy the high-power technology that is available to operators on the platform.

Created with the aim of easy and fast content delivery for the igaming industry, GrooveGaming has frequently hit the headlines over the past couple of years, with a global growth trajectory that has impressively seen the brand reach all 6 continents, based on delivering rapid integrations and high-quality customer service, together with unrivalled technology tools.

GrooveGaming is the aggregator of choice for a host of big industry names including EveryMatrix, iGP, Digitain, Microgaming, Alea and Quickfire, amongst others.

GrooveGaming has numerous live dealer titles and live content as well as virtual sports. GrooveGaming’s powerful platform includes over 4000 casino games as well as a wealth of aggregated content ranging from slots, online casino and live casino, to poker and table games, that operators can access via easy integration to drive player engagement and revenue.

GrooveGaming has significantly grown its presence throughout the last two years across key global markets and important regulated jurisdictions through partnerships with major online gambling operators. These latest record-breaking integrations highlight the attractiveness of GrooveGaming’s portfolio with operators and players alike.

GrooveGaming has numerous live dealer titles amongst its on-demand live content and classy games including live roulette, baccarat, blackjack and live dedicated tables, all of which have been generating significant interest in the last couple of months due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, its virtual sports offering includes virtual football, tennis, horse-racing, cycling and greyhound racing, with virtual Euro basketball and cricket coming to the rapidly-expanding aggregator soon.

The surge in demand for live content has followed the curtailing of live sports worldwide due to COVID-19 and the closing of land-based casinos in numerous jurisdictions across the world. As a result, entertainment is now being offered in the form of live content and virtual sports to operators striving to meet player demand.

Rebecca Sotomora, Head of Sales at GrooveGaming said: “We’re very pleased at how quickly we were able to on-board all these casino and sportsbook brands, to achieve such a high-number is a testament to the professional dedication of the entire GrooveGaming team. We are constantly investing in our technology and expect all these new casino brands to enjoy great results with us from the get-go. This is what getting into the Groove is all about, and there’s a lot more to come!”

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Industry News

Metal Casino Deepens Links with Heavy Metal Scene Following Spiffbet Merger

George Miller

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Metal Casino Deepens Links with Heavy Metal Scene Following Spiffbet Merger
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Metal Casino, the gaming site for metal music fans, has announced plans to further engage with its rock ‘n’ roll audience following its merger with Spiffbet, the Nasdaq First North Growth Market listed online casino and betting games developer.

Metal Casino, which completed the deal with Spiffbet in March, has introduced a new dedicated area for rock-themed slots on its unique website, and will reach out to the grassroots music scene through a talent search across its major markets.

The Metal Experience segment includes a range of top-ranked slots from major studios featuring classic acts like Ozzy Osbourne, Testament, Sabaton and Demon, with Play’n GO’s eagerly anticipated Twisted Sister to be added on its release.

Pelle Wiman, Metal Casino CEO, said the dedicated segment and the work of Metal Casino and Play’n GO emphasises the authentic, long-standing connection between rock ‘n’ roll and gambling which was previously absent in the digital domain.

“The future of online gambling is all about unique game inventory in order to be able to compete and differentiate, and our plans with Spiffbet will allow us to take that to the next level.”

Metal Casino has established a strong bond with its rock audience since it was founded in 2017, with players enjoying its games, attitude and a stunning range of merch and special offers.

That connection will develop further after Metal Casino announced plans to deepen its ties with the grassroots music scenes in its main markets, such as Germany, Sweden, the UK and Finland, through a ‘Help the Band’ concept which will seek to assist up-and-coming talents.

Wiman said: “We want to work with the next generation of rock stars and build a micro influencer programme and support these struggling bands and artists with some funding. This is us giving back to the metal community that we were born out of.”

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