According to charity Gamecare the number of people addicted to gambling has soared by 25% since the gambling laws were relaxed by the government.

The charity is particularly concerned that the average gambling debt has risen from £13,800 to £17,500 in the last 12 months with 7 percent of the 38,000 callers to their helpline admitting debts in excess of £100,000. This is a total of more than £600 million.

Gamecare has warned that the problem will only get worse as the UK economy goes into free-fall and gamblers look for a way out.

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