Government action needed to curb gambling addiction, expert claims

A new generation of gambling addicts could emerge unless the government takes action to reduce the public visibility of casinos and betting outlets, one expert believes.

Dr Sanju George's claims come after his team of academics released a new paper entitled 'Gambling: The Hidden Addiction'. It suggests that many of the government services designed to help those with dependencies are underdeveloped.

The report, which has been put together by a group of experts from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, suggests that the services designed to help people with alcohol and drug problems could be extended to help gamblers too.

One of Dr George's co-authors, Dr Henrietta Bowden Jones, was quoted by as saying: "Increasingly based on strong partnerships between the NHS and voluntary sector, community services have the experience and expertise to work towards helping people with a gambling disorder.

"Extending treatment to the 'third addiction' of gambling could deliver similar benefits, and would help ensure that care is joined-up, efficient and seamless."

Earlier this week, scientists from Cambridge University published new research which suggests that insula - an area of the brain the deals with consciousness and emotion - is linked closely to problem gambling. According to, people are less likely to become addicted if this part is damaged.