Gamble aware promotion just the ticket in UK bingo

Gamble aware promotion just the ticket in UK bingo

Friday, August 5, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
2.5% of regular bingo club patrons displayed symptoms of having problem gambling issues

The Bingo Association has launched a new problem gambling prevention campaign after a study completed on behalf of the Responsible Gambling Trust (RGT) has discovered a small but still significant rate of problem gambling instances among bingo club players.

The survey undertaken by Ipsos MORI and respected problem gambling researcher Heather Wardle found that 2.5% of all regular bingo club patrons displayed symptoms of having problem gambling issues. A further 9% were found to at moderate risk of developing a gambling problem.

In response to the findings the RGT and the Bingo Association have launched an information campaign designed to help bingo players understand the signs of their bingo habit becoming a problem and who to contact.

Marc Etches, chief executive at the RGT, said the trust had decided to conduct the survey in order to gain a clearer picture of the motivations of regular bingo players. “Today’s findings help us understand the risks and inform the best means of supporting the one in forty bingo regulars, as many as 14,000 across the UK, who are experiencing gambling-related harm,” he added.

Unsurprisingly, the survey found that the main reason for visiting a bingo club was fun, at 96%, followed by the opportunity to socialize (85%), excitement (79%) and to win money (79%). Next up as a popular reason to visit a bingo club was that it was a safe place to go out, even on their own (76%), with getting out of the house another popular reason (74%).

Chief executive of the Bingo Association Miles Baron said the findings of the main reasons for visiting bingo clubs were in line with previous analysis. “This study confirms that bingo offers social benefits for most of its patrons, providing an opportunity for members to socialize in a safe environment.”

Despite the problem gambling issues raised by the survey, in the large part the community aspects of bingo shine through in the findings.

Alongside the findings on the bingo hall being felt to be a safe place, the survey also found that 83% go to the club with someone else, 35% take friends and 32% take family. Older patrons cite being in the company of other people as a reason for visiting (82% of the 75-plus age group).

An overwhelming 86% look forward to their regular visits to the bingo and for a quarter of all of them it is the highlight of the week.

Said Baron: “Bingo clubs are a hugely important social hub for a certain section of the community. We need to make sure that this sharing, caring environment extends to seeking help if and when members start to feel their gambling has become a problem.”

The survey took place in a series of telephone interviews conducted in February and March 2016 with nearly 1,500 respondents.

Totally Gaming says: The Bingo Association and the Responsible Gambling Trust are to be applauded for getting on to the front foot with the issue of problem gambling in bingo halls. The suspicion ahead of this survey would likely have been that such a supposed ‘soft’ gaming entertainment would be unlikely to witness much by the way of problem gambling and indeed the survey does come up with a relatively low problem gambling rate. But it is not insignificant and hence the remedial work that will now be put in by the association and the trust will help to minimise any further harm.


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