The cross-charity TalkBanStop initiative has been broadly successful in its objectives, with participants suffering less harmful effects from gambling as a result.
This is according to recent research by Ipsos and reported by GamCare, one of the three organisations involved in the safer gambling programme, together with Gamban and GamStop.
Ipsos found that TalkBankStop – which has been installed 9,000 times since its launch last year – acts as ‘the stonewall’ that some bettors needed to stop gambling before receiving counselling treatment, in the words of one respondent.
Anna Hemmings, GamCare Chief Executive, said: “Since the TalkBanStop partnership started we’ve seen a huge value in pooling our tools and support together to help people stop gambling online.
“Throughout the pilot year we’ve seen how having all three of our interventions, layered together, have amplified the impact for individuals who need them most.”
Specifically, participants to the survey reported being in a better financial position after using TalkBanStop tools – with some stating that they had begun to make savings.
Others detailed improvements in their personal relationships, particularly with regards to opening up to family members and friends about problem gambling and how they were addressing it.
A ‘key area of improvement’ was with regards to ‘overall wellbeing’ such as better sleep, and some respondents reported a lack of distraction by gambling at work and better professional performance.
“Additionally, what we’ve heard from people is the value in using gambling transaction blocks offered by banks as an added layer of protection,” Hemmings continued.
“While the tools and support have been effective, the bank blocks are shown to go one step further in restricting payments in land-based gambling venues such as betting shops.
“Going forward, we hope to work with more financial services to highlight the positive impact that TalkBanStop can have.”
Launched initially as a 12 month pilot programme last year, TalkBanStop combines support from GamCare advisors, free access to Gamban blocking software and signposting to the GAMSTOP self-exclusion scheme.
The organisations are currently overseeing a further expansion of the programme’s international remit, having secured funding from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) for another year of operations and launching a Spanish-language version of the service.