UK's first gambling addiction clinic for children to open in September

Last updated at 06:41
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The UK's first gambling addiction clinic for children and young people will open in September this year.

The clinic has been funded by NHS England, and aims to help young people aged between 13 and 25 years old who bet regularly online or on fruit machines.

Research from The Gambling Commission has shown that around 450,000 young people are thought to bet regularly in the UK.

Of those, around 55,000 aged between 11 and 16 years old have a serious gambling problem.

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Gambling is when you risk money (or something of value) in a game or a bet in the hope of winning money or a prize.

The chief executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, said: "The links between problem gambling and stress, depression and mental health problems are growing and there are too many stories of lives lost and families destroyed... Tackling mental ill health caused by addiction is everyone's responsibility - especially those firms that directly contribute to the problem."

A Gambling Commission report published last year found that 14% of 11 to 16-year-olds had spent their own money on gambling, spending around £16 each per week.

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As well as things like fruit machines and lottery tickets, more than one in 10 young people said they had also played gambling-style games online.

Of those, around one in three said they had purchased and opened "loot boxes" in a computer game or app.

Up to 14 more gambling addiction clinics are expected to open in the UK in the coming months.

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