Problem gambling: More progress needed, says UKGC

Problem gambling: More progress needed, says UKGC

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 Posted by James Walker
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New Gambling Commission research shows more progress needed to tackle problem gambling

Following new research published by the UK Gambling Commission last week, the regulator has called for a renewed focus on addressing the harms that can arise from problem gambling.

The report – Gambling Behaviour in Great Britain in 2015 – provides, for the first time since 2010, a comprehensive analysis of gambling across all nations of Great Britain, examining the rates of participation, at-risk gambling and problem gambling, and explores the associated characteristics and behaviours.

According to the Gambling Commission, 63% of adults in Great Britain had gambled in the past year. Out of this figure, 1.4% of gamblers were classed as problem gamblers, with 6.4% named as being “at-risk”.

Problem gambling was more prevalent among people who had participated in a multiple gambling activities in the past year, than those that had just participated in one.

The research found that men (66%) are more likely to gambling than women (59%). The most popular gambling activities were National Lottery draws (46%), scratchcards (23%) and other lotteries (15%).

Tim Miller, executive director of the Gambling Commission executive said: “For many, gambling is an enjoyable leisure activity. But for some people gambling can become a problem with serious consequences for them, their families and their communities.

“Whilst overall problem gambling rates in Britain have remained statistically stable, our research suggests that in excess of two million people are at-risk or classed as problem gamblers, with very many more impacted by the wider consequences of gambling related harm.”

Miller adds: “We have a clear commitment to make gambling fairer and safer and these figures show that this is a significant challenge. Success will depend upon us, the industry, government and others, all working together with a shared purpose to protect consumers. The pace of change to date simply hasn’t been fast enough- more needs to be done to address problem gambling.”

The Gambling Commission report comes after the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) published its first assessment of how much progress has been made with delivering year one of the three-year National Responsible Gambling Strategy.

Although the group recognised and welcomed the “considerable activity” that took place during the first year of the strategy, the RGSB said it had concerns with four key areas of its responsible gaming action plan, including the search to find better ways of identifying and measuring gambling-related harm, and the perceived reticence of both public and private organisations to accept their responsibility to address problem gambling.

Totally Gaming says: While both the UK Gambling Commission and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board agree that gambling remains an enjoyable leisure activity for most individuals, they have doubled down on their call for operators to demonstrate they are making a positive impact through their work to protect consumers and promote safe play.

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