KIDS as young as 13 addicted to gambling are getting a dedicated NHS service to help them kick the habit.
Launching the first children’s clinic, health boss Simon Stevens warned that betting firms could be taxed to foot the treatment bill.
2 Gambling addicts as young as 13 are getting a dedicated NHS service to help them kick the habitCredit: Getty – Contributor
The NHS England chief exec said it was wrong for the public to pay for the growing crisis.
The Gambling Commission estimates 55,000 kids aged 11 to 16 are problem gamblers, with online sites and social media ads fuelling the epidemic.
The number of affected children has quadrupled in just two years.PICKING UP THE PIECES
The new service, for 13 to 25-year-olds, will be based at the National Problem Gambling Clinic in London.
Up to 14 more betting addiction clinics, initially focusing on adults, are expected to open within two years.
They will be staffed by psychiatrists and psychologists specialising in compulsive behaviour, self-harm and substance misuse.
Graphic WarningTHE ‘CURSED’ CHILD A MUM WON’T LOVE Heartbreaking photos show the premature baby whose mum won’t hold or feed her Sex Secrets Prostitute who earns £2,000 a week reveals the average penis size … and how much she enjoys work Home remedies What causes mouth ulcers and how to treat them with stuff you have at home NOT JUST SPOTS! Six common types of bumps on your skin – and the ones that could be deadly SWITCH IT UP This is how HOMEWORK could be bad for your kids’ health – according to scientists CHIN UP The truth about YOUR double chin, what’s really causing it – and the DAFT exercises that can help banish it
Mr Stevens said: “This is an industry that splashes £1.5billion on marketing and advertising campaigns, but it has been spending just a fraction of that . . . dealing with the direct consequences of addiction.”
Regulator the Gambling Commission says a compulsory levy must aim to raise at least £70million a year.
Bookies have offered to increase contributions to help problem gamblers.
2Credit: Getty – Pool
Health boss Simon Stevens warned that betting firms could be taxed to foot the treatment bill
Paul Merson breaks down in tears saying ‘life has fallen apart’ after gambling left him ‘like a crack addict’ on Harry’s Heroes