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Gambling with Lives was set up by the families and friends of young people who have taken their own lives as a direct result of gambling. These were all very normal, bright, popular and happy young folk who had great futures ahead of them … gambling was their only problem.

Their deaths were very sudden – “out of the blue” with no warning. They were not the result of massive gambling debts, rather what gambling had done to their hearts and their heads. We’re starting to get evidence from neuroscience that gambling on electronic machines affects mental health and even creates suicidal thoughts. Our children had all struggled with their gambling addiction for years, often being clear for many months at a time … but always dragged back in by an industry offering “free bets” and other give-aways. They all felt that they could never break free.

No one knows how many deaths there are related to gambling each year; research indicates that there may be between 250 and 650 gambling related suicides every year in the UK … a minimum of one every working day.

Gambling with Lives aims to:

  • Support families who have been bereaved by gambling related suicides;

  • Raise awareness amongst gamblers, their families and friends, and health professionals of the dangerous effects of gambling on mental health, and the high suicide risk;

  • In support of these aims, we will also seek to:

    • Reduce gambling related harm by supporting better regulation of gambling products which lead to an increased risk of gambling addiction and adverse effects on health;

    • Promote the treatment of gambling as a health issue which requires improved access to health services integrated with the NHS, and access to support for families and friends

    • Give a voice to families and friends bereaved by gambling and bring the health issues surrounding gambling to the attention of policy makers and bodies responsible for regulating the gambling industry