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GamCare issues recommendations to mitigate unaffordable lending in gambling

GamCare has released its list of industry recommendations for unaffordable lending, following an insight workshop.

gamcare charity problem gambling 1 gambling insider web image

The charity, which deals with gambling-related harm, first highlighted the need for firms to implement programmes of cultural change. It says this could be achieved by fostering improved staff awareness and that staff should be better trained to signpost customers to free tools and services, targeted at protecting people experiencing problem gambling.

Second, improving affordability assessments by applying a gambling harm lens; a system that will define a meaningful set of indicators and interventions by working with charities, and those that have lived experience of harmful gambling.

Finally, GamCare recommends reducing as much friction as possible to support gamblers trying to stop; such as by not having automated credit increases for at-risk customers. 

On the list of recommendations, Colin Walsh, GamCare’s Lived Experience Manager, said: “I know from my personal experiences, and I now see first-hand through our lived experience community, how quickly gambling can escalate when it becomes problematic. 

"The ease of access to multiple lines and forms of credit in our 24/7 world allowed me and many others to gamble with borrowed money in a way which isn’t controlled, responsible or sustainable but also the guilt, remorse and shame felt after gambling episodes." 

Meanwhile, John Wightman, Ombudsman Leader and Head of Practice, Consumer Credit, added: “Where the Financial Ombudsman Service looks at cases involving harmful gambling there is often a vulnerable customer at the heart of the complaint.

"We would ask whether the firm treated its customer fairly, for example by putting in place appropriate support where it was aware (or should have been aware) that a consumer is vulnerable." 

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