UK Gambling Commission Issues Report On Problem Gambling

First detailed look at UK problem gambling since 2010

First detailed look at UK problem gambling since 2010 finds that 0.8 percent of the adult population can be classed as having a gambling problem, whilst 3.9 percent of the population is classed as “at-risk”.

The UK Gambling Commission has released the results of its report on problem gambling – the first such study by the Commission since 2010.

The report notes that 0.8 percent of the adult population of the UK can be classed as having a gambling problem, whilst 3.9 percent could be classified as “at-risk”.

Talking about the report to The Guardian newspaper, an executive director of the Commission, Tim Miller said:

“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 report flags betting machines in retail betting shops (FOBTs), poker action in pubs and clubs, and online gambling websites are the most likely to attract UK punters, and makes the startling claim that just over half of online gamblers could be defined as either having a problem or being at risk of developing one.

43.2 percent of persons in these categories play FOBTs, which have come under increasingly frequent media and action group attack, with demands that the present GBP 100 staking limits be reduced.

The British government is due to publish its response to a review on FOBTs in October (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Carolyn Harris, Labour MP for Swansea East and chair of the unofficial all-party parliamentary group on FOBTs responded to the Guardian by saying:

“This should be a wake-up call for government as we near the response to the FOBT review in October. 43 percent of FOBT users are either problem or at-risk gamblers, so there can be absolutely no excuse – the government must recommend a reduction to GBP 2 a spin to limit harm and addiction.”

The Guardian notes that British gamblers lost GBP 13.8 billion last year, including GBP 1.8 billion on FOBTs, which make up more than half of the annual revenue of bookmakers.