Academics and medical experts have called for a specialist gambling clinic to be run by the NHS in Wales.
A letter has been signed by both medical experts and academics urging the Welsh government to tackle problem gambling in the country by opening an NHS-funded clinic. There are six such clinics across England, but none in Wales.
The letter, written by Professor Simon Dymond from Swansea University’s department of psychology, has been endorsed by many other specialists.
One of those specialists is Dr Henriette Bowden-Jones, who set up England’s first NHS-run clinic.
The letter said several people with gambling-related problems have been referred to clinics in England over the years due to a lack of accessible services in Wales.
And that notion was backed up by GamCare - a support service for UK gamblers - who said its network had seen an increase in the number of people from Wales accessing their helpline in the past two years.
“The time is right, I think, to call on the Welsh Government to consider the NHS provision for gambling clinics here in Wales,” said Professor Dymond.
“We also know that young people, aged 18 to 24, are particularly at risk of increased vulnerability of developing a gambling problem during the lockdown.”