Low Rates of UK Problem Gambling

The BGC has come out in praise of the low rates of UK problem gambling, but is concerned about the higher rates in the 16-24 age group. (Image from KaZun at pixabay.com)

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed a report by the UKGC that shows that problem gambling rates in the UK have remained historically low for the first half of 2022. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently released new figures that show problem gambling rates in the UK have stayed at 0.2% for the period between the 1st of January and the 31st of June in 2022.

The BGC argues that this rate shows that operators and suppliers have made positive progress on an issue that the UKGC is constantly fighting to improve. There does, however, remain a concern about the 16-24 age group, which has a higher rate of problem gambling.

The UKGC, which recently published complaints procedure tips as a reminder to online casinos, shared statistics that show problem gambling rates in the UK are down from the 0.4% rate in the same period during 2021. The figures also remained the same as those published in April this year. According to those statistics, the problem gambling rate among women is at just 0.1%, a figure that the BGC claims is very low by international standards.

Michael Dugher, the Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said:

These newly released figures are yet again evidence of the positive progress we have made on problem gambling. The figures have fallen once again and are now considered low by international standards. A lot of this is down to the initiatives the UK gambling industry has taken. That includes the advertisement of effective and responsible gambling tools such as timers, deposit and loss limits, and self-exclusion tools.

The 16-24 Age Group Remains a Concern

The UKGC collected this data from a survey the regulator performs on a quarterly basis. A sample of over 4,000 completed surveys was used to arrive at the results. The report found that 43% of the adult population in the UK enjoys some form of gambling, whether that is at online casinos, the lottery, land-based establishments, or horse races. That figure has remained stable from the last report.

However, while problem gambling rates as a whole have dropped, the BGC is concerned about the 0.8% of problem gamblers in the 16-24 age group. All other age groups have shown a decline in problem gambling rates.

General moderate risk rates have also shown a decline. That figure is 1%, which is down from 1.5% for the same period in 2021. However, there was again a significant rise in the 16-24 age group. It rose from 0.6% to 3.6% compared to the first six months of 2021.

Current figures show that over 22 million adults in the UK bet in some way or form each month. Dugher claims that these figures are evidence that the vast majority of those people do gamble responsibly. He does believe that this is not an excuse for complacency and feels that companies have to continue their efforts to reduce problem gambling and the harm it causes to individuals and families. Dugher also believes the industry has to do its utmost to keep UK players from accessing a ‘growing’ online black market.

If you feel you or somebody that you know has a gambling problem, we urge you to take the necessary steps to get help. GamCare, Gamstop, and BeGambleAware are all organisations that can give you the support and guidance needed.

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