Former Newcastle United and Cardiff City footballer Michael Chopra has spoken out on gambling addiction for the TalkBanStop campaign, which will see three leading gambling addiction services unite to support those struggling over Christmas.
Chopra spoke with Chris Gilham, Co-Host of the All Bets Are Off podcast which deals with recovery from gambling addiction, about their shared experiences of addiction and what gave them hope on their recovery journey.
Online gamblers struggling to control their gambling at Christmas are being offered a trio of services for free to help kick-start their recovery journey centred around the three pillars, talk, ban, stop.
The initiative urges those struggling to talk to one of problem gambling charity GamCare’s trained advisers on the National Gambling Helpline (over the phone or via live chat), where they or their loved ones can access expert information, advice and support, including arranging access to peer-to-peer support or an NHS referral if appropriate.
The campaign will also highlight Gamban software, which blocks access to thousands of global gambling sites and apps - a service which would usually cost £24.99 per year, but which is now being offered free to anyone contacting the Helpline - and the GAMSTOP self-exclusion initiative, which prevents the access and creation of new gambling accounts with all online gambling operators across the UK.
According to campaign organisers, the Christmas period poses a heightened risk to those struggling with gambling, while GamCare warns that the pandemic has increased common risk factors including isolation, boredom or money worries.