The head of NHS England, Simon Stevens, has condemned the “fraction” spent by the industry compared with that devoted to advertising and marketing.
His criticism comes as the NHS announced a new service for 13 to 25-year-olds based at the UK’s only dedicated gambling addiction centre, the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London.
Stevens said: “The links between problem gambling and stress, depression and mental health problems are growing and there are too many stories of lives lost and families destroyed.
“This action shows just how seriously the NHS takes the threat of gambling addiction, even in young people, but we need to be clear – tackling mental ill health caused by addiction is everyone’s responsibility – especially those firms that directly contribute to the problem.
“This is an industry that splashes £1.5 billion on marketing and advertising campaigns, much of it now pumped out online and through social media, but it has been spending just a fraction of that helping customers and their families deal with the direct consequences of addiction.”
Christian charity CARE’s spokesman James Mildred told Premier why he agreed with Stevens’ recommendation.
“We have a generational crisis going on right now with problem gambling among young people,” Mildred said.
“Mr Stevens is right – with the gambling industry, it’s time for them to face the music and to start…
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