Beverley Kenyon is a CWU Portable Officer for the BFS Branch of the Union. Her reports have featured previously on this website, dealing with issues affecting union members, not just in the CWU, but also in the wider community.
Here she reports on a 6th June 2022 Webinar discussing the damge done to women as a result of gambling addiction:
This webinar was organised by King’s College London on the working of two studies exploring different aspects of gambling and its affect upon women, and to build knowledge of women's lived experience of gambling and gambling harms.
Why Women gamble
Womens gamble for different reasons and in different ways than men:
1. Positive: Childhood gambling like betting on The Grand National game of bingo on a family holiday as examples.
2. Socialising : Gambling nights out at the bingo hall, days out at the races, arcade machines, it's fun.
3. Social gambling has now moved to solo gambling as using technology you can still be in a group but at home .
4. Loneliness : In the house with children or in a caring role.
What drives gambling
1. Psychologically: You feel the joy and power when you win .You feel that buzz.
2. Financial and Economic : You win the first time around and see a gain in your financial situation .
3. Industry Practice advertising like the Lottery cards for the different charities, free spins etc on media sites and on TV.
1. Poverty to gain financial rewards and in some cases now for food hampers .
2. Domestic abuse and spending more time at home for other reasons like caring for someone or you being cared for.
3. Co-occurring addictions. Thinking a 2nd addiction will help overcome the 1st. Of course it does not - it adds to it.
4. Stress/trauma can trigger that point to start gambling.
5. Ethnically Diverse backgrounds are found to be more vulnerable.
It is perceived as a male issue not a gendered expression about femininity and society . Ethnically diverse women face additional cultural stigma related to gambling.
Harms warning signs
2:Theft and fraud
4:Violence and anger.
5:Health affects mental health,
One of these could be the missing piece of the puzzle to help the person in question. You could have seen it in a friend, a family member or yourself. It will look different for everybody.
If screened early and the right question is asked it can make a difference.
Has your gamnbling or the gambling of someone close to you had a negative effect on you?
Support and information links:
Gambling HelpLine: 0808802133
Harmful gambling - BigDeal
King's College London
You can find information about gambling problems in the Unionsafety E-Library Use search word, 'gambling' or category 'Addictions: Gambling'