Home Gambling Industry GambleAware reports uptick in vulnerable gamblers in UK

GambleAware reports uptick in vulnerable gamblers in UK

24 Mar 2022
4 min. read


GambleAware, a charity that focuses on tackling problem gambling in the United Kingdom, has seen an increase in the individuals experiencing some form of gambling harm, and specifically the number of people who are at a higher risk of harmful gaming practices.

To analyze the state of consumers in the United Kingdom, GambleAware conducted the "Annual GB Treatment and Support Survey for 2021" with the help of YouGov, which specializes in polling the general public and specific target groups.

GambleAware uses the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) to assess how many of the estimated 1.4 million people in the United Kingdom who experience gambling-related harms are at an increased risk of becoming problem gamblers or already suffer from the condition.

According to the survey’s results, 12.7% of the people who were interviewed scored one point higher on the PGSI scale compared to just 11.8% in 2020. This directly translates into a grimmer picture for responsible gambling in the United Kingdom as the results indicate that the problem is resurging.

GambleAware similarly cautioned that the +8 PGSI index saw an increase, particularly in the age group between 18 and 34-year-olds, or a 4.6% increase compared to 2020. The survey also saw greater engagement with activities such as the National Lottery and sports betting, largely attributed to the availability of more products in those segments.

In the meantime, the survey also noted that more people who are on the +8 PGSI index are now seeking treatment for the problem. GambleAware goes even further and suggests that over 1.4 million people in the United Kingdom may require "critical intervention" in order to avoid more serious problems in the future.

Once again, the survey found out that BAME communities were far less likely to engage in gambling. However, an adverse trend was identified among those who did gamble – and that was that BAME individuals were far more likely to end up experiencing gambling harm provided they actually engaged with the activity.

The reversal of the downward trend in problem gambling has once again put a strain on the public debate about re-regulating the industry in the United Kingdom. There are some tectonic changes in the way the National Health Service and GambleAware will seek to fund their operations in the future.

Previously, both organizations benefited from contributions by gambling companies, but now they would like to see a law that taxes gambling industry giants with a statutory levy to contribute to the treatment and other practices related to the prevention of gambling harm.

The good news is that the majority of people in the United Kingdom will seek help these days if they know they are suffering from a serious gambling problem. For example, 64% of problem gamblers admitted to having used some form of treatment service over the 12 months leading up to the survey date.

Commenting on these results, GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond praised the efforts the National Gambling Treatment Service has done in order to tackle problem gambling and gambling-related harm. Over 200,000 individuals have been helped as a result. Yet, Osmond feels that there is more GambleAware can be doing, especially in light of the slight increase in negative numbers.

GambleAware has played an important role in trying to tackle the issue in the country. It has repeatedly donated to fund various research and treatments.

Image credit: Unsplash.com

24 Mar 2022
4 min. read