RCPsych warns of gambling harms ahead of Euro 2024 quarter-finals

Press release
05 July 2024

As millions of people place bets throughout the summer of sport, including on the Euro 2024 quarter-finals this weekend and the upcoming Olympics, we're urging fans to be aware of the harms of gambling addiction.

Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones OBE from the College’s Faculty of Addictions Psychiatry said:

“Major sporting events are a time when many fans place bets on their favourite teams. If not kept in control, this can lead to the development of a gambling addiction or trigger those who already have a gambling disorder to relapse.

“The Euros will inevitably act as a trigger for many people who may fall into a harmful cycle where they repeatedly place bets they cannot afford. Sadly, the end result can be that people are put at risk of losing their home, relationships and even their jobs.

“It’s vital we recognise that gambling disorder is a mental illness which has a devastating impact on individuals and their families. Hundreds of suicides are estimated to be linked to gambling harm each year, while many other people experience severe depression and anxiety.

“This is a public health issue and can be avoided, yet people often don’t seek help because they’re embarrassed or afraid. We need to open discussion around gambling harms as suffering in silence only puts people at greater risk of mental ill-health and financial insecurity.

“Anyone who suspects they may have a problem should reach out to their GP as soon as possible.

“It’s also important people take steps to prevent themselves from gambling online and in person by putting self-exclusion agreements in place. They may find it useful to install blocking software which stops them from accessing gambling websites.”

Read our information about gambling disorder and how to protect yourself from problem gambling.

See advice on accessing gambling and debt support from Citizen’s Advice.

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