Giving people with mental health problems equal access to vital services

Merlyn Holkar, Senior Research Officer, and Chris Lees, Research Officer

A safer bet

Online gambling and mental health

15 July 2020

This report explores the harm that people with mental health problems can experience when gambling online. It highlights that having a mental health problem can make it harder to stay in control of online gambling, which can contribute to financial and psychological harm. The report sets out:

  • Key drivers of gambling-related harm for people with mental health problems
  • The views of people with mental health problems on how to reduce gambling-related harm 
  • Steps to make the online gambling environment safer by default and more responsive to harm.

Key Recommendations: 

  • Gambling firms should stop advertising online during the pandemic – a time when people are more exposed to financial hardship and distress
  • The government should place limits on online gambling stakes, like the existing limits on fixed-odds betting terminals
  • Online advertising operators — such as Google and Facebook — should work together to create an easy to use, single point exclusion tool to enable people to avoid online gambling adverts.