Betting on recovery: Inside Europe’s first rehab centre for female gamblers

“I felt so by yourself, I certainly considered I was the only woman gambler in the environment.”

Stacey Goodwin was 18-many years-previous the very first time she gambled in a betting store.

“My lifetime altered the instant I set that initially pound coin into a slot machine”, Goodwin, now 30, tells Euronews. 

Right after she received adequate funds to fund a night out, Stacey became hooked. Nevertheless, her winnings speedily turned to losses.

Eight many years later on, and with the assistance of Gordon Moody charity, Stacey was capable to overcome her crippling gambling addiction at a position of no return: “I built a extremely genuine selection that I was either going to place myself into prison or go into rehab.” 

Previous 12 months, the charity opened the world’s initial-at any time feminine residential rehabilitation centre, in the British isles.

“It was the initially time I achieved other gals who experienced from a gambling dependancy and probably the most important second in my lifestyle,” suggests Stacey. 

The charity previously had a fourteen-week programme for male gambling addicts, but altered its method to suit the precise requires of woman gamblers with serious gambling addictions on a five-week course.  

Several participants are “likely to have considered about suicide or attempted suicide for the reason that of gambling-associated harm”, describes Rob Mabbett, the charity’s Director of Exterior Engagement.

Subsequent their remain at the momentary web-site in Birmingham – which includes a single-to-one classes with therapists – the women are presented with 8 weeks of aftercare.

“Our women’s residential procedure centre will open up in its new permanent home in July 2023 and will go on to aid far more women reclaim and rebuild their life no cost from gambling dependancy”, says Mabbett.

The charity designs to raise its capability by 60{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} subsequent yr, as it presently receives 160 apps for just 36 areas available on its feminine household scheme.  

Surge in gambling addiction

Gordon Moody is just one of a lot of charities reporting a surge in the range of feminine gamblers reaching out for enable – reporting a 76{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} maximize in calls from women previous 12 months.

According to a 2022 survey by the British isles Gambling Fee, 43{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} of surveyed ladies had gambled in the last 4 weeks.

Charities say it usually usually takes decades between the minute the place folks initially gamble, and when they contact for support. Professionals are even now ready to see the complete effects that COVID pandemic lockdowns had on dependancy costs.

But so much, Gordon Moody has documented an 80{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} increase in desire for their companies as opposed to pre-pandemic levels.

How does on line gambling goal females?

A couple of months into her addiction, Stacey realised she “couldn’t make more than enough dollars quickly” in betting outlets, so she shifted to on line gambling.

As she relished in the new-discovered anonymity of the online, the cycle ongoing.

“Match and horse race betting – which can be pretty male – by no means appealed to me as I by no means experienced the patience”, points out Stacey.

She grew to become completely addicted to the brief correct of on-line slot equipment and scratch card online games “the bright and vivid colours of these games entice women of all ages in.”

Women of all ages in the British isles tend to participate in extra typically, expend more, and participate in for more time than guys, according to information analysed by NatCen and the College of Liverpool in 2021.

Tackling the stigma close to female gambling

“I would shift from one betting store to one more. I was ashamed at how extended I was paying there and hyper-informed that I was the only lady there,” Stacey tells Euronews.

The sense of disgrace turned as critical as the habit itself.

“I went to see a health care provider who informed me to go see a counsellor but to continue to keep my addiction a magic formula from my mates and family.”

To tackle this stigma, Stacey determined to start a TikTok account focused to aiding gambling addicts.

“I made the decision to be brave and share my tale. I hadn’t observed anything at all like it online”.

The account, launched in the midst of the Covid-19, pandemic now features close to 200k followers. Stacey is inundated daily with messages inquiring for tips – and is also approached in community by gals.

“It’s both heartwarming and unfortunate that so a lot of girls achieve out to me”.

“We will need to make certain that there is a safe room that these females truly feel cozy heading to if I’m not in a position to reply”, clarifies Stacey, who has also created a guide about her journey to recovery.

In the Uk, young women have described sensation much less self-confident than young males that they will be ready to access the important enable, according to a study commissioned by YGAM (Youthful Players and Youthful Gamblers Education and learning Believe in).

Nevertheless charities like Gordon Moody enable ladies at the serious close of addiction, expert services are readily available across the British isles for women at distinct levels. Stacey hosts a fortnightly Zoom conference for females struggling with gambling addictions at all ends of the spectrum with the charity Epic Restart Foundation.

A European concern

Increasing female gambling addictions are a European phenomenon.

In 2019, the sum of feminine gamblers in Sweden overtook the selection of male gamblers for the initially time.

“There is no higher conclude to the quantity of individuals gambling – we have witnessed a continuous boost in the latest years”, Dr Ulla Romild, an analyst at The Community Health and fitness Company of Sweden tells Euronews. 

The study unveiled that between 45,000 people with a gambling dependancy, 64{2c3a8711102f73ee058d83c6a8025dc7f37722aad075054eaafcf582b93871a0} ended up girls.

Stacey Goodwin suggests the far more folks converse about gambling and addiction, the a lot less stigma there is all around the challenges. 

“I put myself out there on the net to display that the shame I carried was some thing no one else need to.”