UK health service chief calls for controls on cryptocurrency after rise in gambling problems

UK health service chief calls for controls on cryptocurrency after rise in gambling problems

Article brief provided by The Telegraph
  • Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph
June 16, 2024 1:33 PM
  • Laura Donnelly, The Telegraph

Unregulated gambling on cryptocurrency is heaping demand on NHS gambling clinics, the head of the health service has warned.

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Amanda Pritchard called for regulatory action to stop young people getting “hooked” on new forms of betting, saying the NHS could not afford to keep “picking up the pieces” of societal problems.

Counsellors are treating increasing numbers of people who have attempted to get rich from trading in cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, as well as from those gambling on the market, or using the currency to place bets.

Ms Pritchard said that 15 specialist gambling clinics which have been created across the country were responding to a “real and growing social need” for treatment, describing the addiction as “a cruel disease which has the power to destroy people’s lives”.