In the wake of the recent reports of a considerable rise in gambling addiction across the UK, the UK Gambling Commission is tackling the problem head on. Part of this proactive stance to combat the rise in gambling addictions, including public awareness campaigns and outreach programs, among other steps.
One of the more recent, and more public, examples of the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) proactive stance, came in the form of UKGC’s chief executive officer, Neil McArthur’s visit to DrugFAM. The commission’s CEO met with a number of key personnel involved with the charity, including its founder, Elizabeth Burton-Phillips MBE, as well as a number of DrugFAM employees and volunteers.
While the UKGC may be stepping up their proactive campaign against gambling addiction publicly, Neil McArthur’s visit to the DrugFAM headquarters in Buckinghamshire was by no means just a friendly tour of the facilities or a ‘meet and greet’.
The DrugFAM charity was initially set up by Elizabeth Burton-Phillips as a way to provide support to families and communities whose loved ones are afflicted with the disease of addiction, either to drugs, alcohol or gambling, as well as to those families that have lost a loved one to addition.
DrugFAM forms part of the High Wycombe charity, founded by Burton-Phillips in 2006, and the greater charity also works with prison inmates, school children, rehabilitation centres, and communities at large all across the country. The charity predominantly receives funding through the National Lottery Community Fund, and this is part of the reason for the UKGC’s exec visit.
Elizabeth Burton-Phillips was the recipient of a Special Recognition Award, which she received at the 25th Birthday National Lottery Awards ceremony last November. It was during this award ceremony that she met Neil McArthur. According to McArthur: “I met Elizabeth and her team recently at the National Lottery Awards and I was really struck by the charity’s drive and determination to help families and the community. Their work is vital and has helped hundreds of families who have been impacted by the effects of addiction.”
When referring specifically to his visit to DrugFAM, McArthur added: “It is important in our role as the gambling regulator to ensure funds continue to be distributed to charities like DrugFAM.” He added: “Funding for good causes through the National Lottery will remain a priority for us as we look to the future, including at how technology and innovation can ensure that the success of the National Lottery continues in the years ahead.”
Elizabeth Burton-Phillips responded to the positive words of Neil McArthur by adding: “It was an absolute pleasure to meet Neil and to discuss at length how we can support one another.We now have many years of experience supporting the families of addicts which includes gambling addiction in addition to drugs and alcohol. For our families it is about them knowing this is the right place with the right people who are here every day of the year to help them. National Lottery Funding for our helpline has been vital.”
The UK Gambling Commission, or UKGC, was established in 2005 as a replacement for the old, and largely ineffective, Gambling Board. The UKGC is responsible for controlling and regulating the bulk of all gambling, betting and gaming activities conducted throughout the United Kingdom, both online and in the real world. This includes all online and brick and mortar casino gambling, online and high street sports betting, bingo activities and regulation of the National Lottery.
The National Lottery was launched in 1994 and, aside from making the lucky few overnight millionaires, is also responsible for funding a wide range of needy charities, including those such as DrugFAM. To date, the National Lottery has managed to raise well-over £40 billion.
If you or any of your loved ones are in need of the services of DrugFAM, you can contact their highly trained support staff on their helpline – 0300 888 3853, during the operating hours of 9am to 9 PM GMT. The charity helpline is also available seven days a week and you can also find additional contact details and more information about their services on their website.