As part of our work, we need to build an evidence-based understanding of the extent and impact of gambling related harms in Greater Manchester for individuals, families and communities.

Harms associated with gambling include mental ill health, relationship breakdown, poor performance at work or school and financial difficulties. Harms may be experienced by the person who gambles or by family, friends and colleagues of someone who gambles (‘affected others’).

Gambling may not be the sole cause of these harms – in some cases gambling may be a used as a coping mechanism– however we know that gambling disorder can exacerbate existing vulnerabilities. Harms can accrue very quickly, but we know that recovery can take a long time, with some harms leaving an intergenerational legacy.

What is the evidence?

On 30 September, Public Health England published a comprehensive review of evidence looking at the impact of gambling related harm. Key findings from this review include:

  • In 2019-20 the excess economic burden associated with gambling in England was estimated to be at least £1.27 billion 
  • The North West of England has one of the highest prevalence of people who participate in at risk levels of gambling and / or are experiencing gambling disorder (4.4% compared to a national average of 3.7%)
  • There is evidence for a wide range of harms associated with gambling including financial harms such as bankruptcy, homelessness, health harms including higher mortality and more suicidal events, and relationship problems and family conflict.

We are in the process of exploring how we can use this national data to inform understanding of the impact of gambling harm in Greater Manchester and will be publishing this information shortly. This will be supported by evidence captured directly from residents who have experienced gambling disorder or gambling harm. If you have a story you would like to share, please get in contact.

Where can I find out more?

Resources are available to build your knowledge and understanding of gambling disorder, how you might identify someone experiencing gambling related harms and what support you can offer. These resources are suitable for people in professional, volunteer and community roles, and may be tailored to suit your specific needs.

Podcasts and media

In addition to formal training offers, there is a huge wealth of expertise and knowledge about gambling related harms coming from within the community of people who are speaking out about their lived experience.