Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 83–90 | Cite as

The UK National Telephone Gambling Helpline—Results on the First Year of Operation

  • Mark Griffiths
  • Adrian Scarfe
  • Paul Bellringer


This study outlines the results of the UK's national gambling helpline run by GamCare. The results outlined here cover the period of the first 12 months of operation (November 1997 to October 1998). The helpline received a total of 1729 calls. Of these, 51% were from problem gamblers themselves (90% male; 10% female) and a further 26% of calls were from relatives of problem gamblers. The remaining calls came from other professionals handling problem gambling cases (13%), attempted calls, e.g., people calling and then putting the phone down due to being scared of talking (4%), information requests (3%) and the media (3%). Fruit machine gambling appeared to be most problematic for the callers as a whole and for particular sub-groups such as adolescents (82%) and women (52%).


Problem Gambler Information Request Machine Gambling Attempted Call Fruit Machine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Becona, E. (1994). Prevalence surveys of problem and pathological gambling in Europe: The cases of Germany, Holland and Spain. Paper presented at the Ninth International Conference on Cambling and Risk Taking, Las Vegas, USA.Google Scholar
  2. Griffiths, M.D. (1995). Adolescent Gambling. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  3. Griffiths, M.D. (1996). Pathological gambling: A review of the literature. Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, 3, 347–353.Google Scholar
  4. Griffiths, M.D. (1997a). Selling hope: The psychology of the National Lottery. Psychology Review, 23, 26–29.Google Scholar
  5. Griffiths, M.D. (1997b). The National Lottery and Scratchcards. The Psychologist: Bulletin of the British Psychological Society, 10, 23–26.Google Scholar
  6. Lorenz, V.C. & Yaffee, R.A. (1986). Pathological gambling: Psychosomatic, emotional and marital difficulties as reported by the gambler. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 2, 40–45.Google Scholar
  7. Lorenz, C.V. & Yaffee, R.A. (1988). Pathological gambling: Psychosomatic, emotional and marital difficulties as reported by the spouse. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 4, 13–26.Google Scholar
  8. Setness, P.A. (1997). Pathological gambling: When do social issues become medical issues? Postgraduate Medicine, 102, 13–18.Google Scholar
  9. Volberg, R. A. & Steadman, H. J. (1992). Accurately predicting pathological gamblers: Policy and Treatment implications. Journal of Gambling Studies, 8, 401–412.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Griffiths
    • 1
  • Adrian Scarfe
    • 2
  • Paul Bellringer
    • 2
  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityUSA
  2. 2.GamCareLondon

Personalised recommendations