Doctors‘ leaders have raised concerns the opening of Swansea’s GBP 13 million casino will lead to a rise in problem gambling. Bosses at the British Medical Association have warned health workers need to be prepared to see more people suffering with such problems with the launch of the new Aspers Casino.
The BMA called for gambling to be recognised as an addiction and treated on the NHS in its hard hitting report, Gambling Addiction and its Treatment Within the NHS.
Dr Richard Lewis, Welsh secretary of the BMA, said: „Gambling is not intrinsically wrong.
„But it becomes morally unacceptable when a person’s gambling becomes obsessive or leads to the gambler or their family suffering through loss of money.
„Problem gambling is associated with a number of health problems, and the BMA is concerned that there are insufficient treatment facilities available.
„Psychological problems can include anxiety, depression, guilt and suicidal thoughts. There needs to be treatment for problem gambling available on the NHS similar to those for drug and alcohol services.“
Aspers bosses say they have plenty of measures in place to prevent people developing problems with gambling, with trained specialists on the casino floor looking out for potential problem gamblers.
It also puts money into schemes, which have been run successfully in other countries, to help treat people with gambling problems.