North West Gambling Service opens new clinic in the region

Dr Matt Gaskell, Director of NWGS, speaking at the launch event
Dr Matt Gaskell, Director of NWGS, speaking at the launch event

The launch of the new North West Gambling Service (NWGS) was packed to hear speakers praise its arrival to cover Merseyside, Cheshire and the Wirral.

The clinic’s opening, based at Mann Island in Liverpool, follows the opening of a clinic in Preston covering South Lancashire and Cumbria, and one to follow later in March in Sheffield. They are part of 15 the NHS is providing.

NWGS provides treatment for gambling problems as well as for those with mental health conditions, and those who may experience suicidal thoughts. It also offers a service to loved ones affected by someone else’s gambling.

Dr Matt Gaskell, Director of NWGS, and a consultant psychologist, said: “The mobile phone puts a casino in your pocket. Gambling does not just harm a minority of so-called weak and vulnerable people. The majority are younger men, working and in a relationship, who gamble online.”

He stressed: “Football has a major gambling problem. Our clinics have many football fans.”

Keynote speakers included Mark Pailios, Executive Chairman of Tranmere Rovers, which works with NWGS. He said:

“Football is increasingly part of the problem, it can become increasingly part of the solution. The game doesn’t need the money. Wherever the money is discretionary we don’t take it.”

Parent John Myers, whose son Ryan took his own life due to gambling debts, said: “When we started looking into it he’d spent his wages three times in one day trying to get out of his debt.

“When the fun stops, you’re addicted.”

Visit to find out more about the clinic including how to self-refer.