Gamstop, the charity that allows players to self-exclude from online gambling sites in the UK, has announced that there are now more than 55,000 women using its tools to block access to sites.
It said that women now account for 31% of total self-exclusions compared with 26% in March 2020, an increase it attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Gamstop said that surpassing 50,000 registered female players was “significant” and that it demonstrates that online gambling addiction is having and increasing impact on women.
Gamstop Chief Executive, Fiona Palmer, said: “As we begin to understand the demographic make up of our register it is important to feed back to the various support agencies and work together to encourage those women who have registered with Gamstop to access the help they may need going forward.
“50,000 female registrants is a significant number and we are pleased that they have found the Gamstop self-exclusion scheme and that it is a useful practical tool to help with their gambling issues.”
Gamstop argues that gambling related harm is often regarded as solely being a problem for male players, but the stats show it is increasingly affecting women.
According to gambling support charity, Gamcare, the number of women experiencing problems is increasing at twice the rate of men, but that only 1% have contacted the charity for support.
Anna Hemmings, Chief Executive of GamCare, said: “We must get to grips with the unnecessary shame and stigma women feel around asking for help with gambling. Gambling is not just a male activity, and it can affect women in significant, potentially life-changing ways.
“Our dedicated Women’s Programme has told us that we need to remove barriers for women to access help with gambling-related harm – the issues that women are facing are often hidden from support services.
“GamCare is pleased to be able to work with Gamstop so people registering for online self-exclusion can also be swiftly connected through to specialist support and treatment services, which greatly increases the chance of sustaining a recovery from gambling harms.”
To learn more about how to gamble responsibly online, read our guide here.