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The number of problem gamblers in the UK is increasing

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The number of potential gamblers in the UK is rising, with a survey showing an additional 1.5 million to be at risk.


In recent years responsible gambling has become one of the top priorities globally. A recent survey by YouGov shows that the current addiction rate in the UK is even worse than previously thought.

The survey brings to light the increase in problem gambling and the lack of responsible gaming activity.

Latest survey details

This is not the first study of its kind. In fact, it’s the third study in the past few years, with the first two taking place in 2019 and 2020. Over 18,000 adults were surveyed during the study, and their age, gender, UL region, NRS social grade, and ethnic group were considered.

According to the latest study, about 59% of adults in Great Britain have been participating in some form of gambling in the last 12 months. This means that an average of 30.5 million people have been taking part in gambling activities.

The survey shows that the National Lottery was the most popular form of gambling, with 44% of respondents participating in the lottery. Then there is a 16.9% group taking part in scratch cards and other lotteries following on its heels with 13.8%.

The study indicates that online sports betting activities increased by 11.8% in 2021 while playing at UK online casinos has increased from 3.6% in 2020 to 4.1% in 2021.

More statistics

According to a study by GambleAware and YouGov, not even 1% of the problem gamblers or potential problem gamblers residing in Great Britain are taking advantage of the National Gambling Treatment Service available.

The study shows that about 7% of adults are classed as low-risk gamblers and 2.9% as moderate gamblers. Then there is 2.8%, a total of 1.4 million people, who are considered problem gamblers. This number has seen a 0.4% increase from the 2.4% from the previous year.

According to the Gambling Commission’s quarterly surveys, about 0.3% of the population can now be classed as problem gamblers.

The reality of the situation

It is thought that there is a pattern in all the GambleAware/YouGov studies where the “particular risk” of selection bias can lead to inflating the numbers of those experiencing harm if it is not adequately accounted for.

According to the 2021 study, the rates are also higher among those aged 18-24. A 7.1% figure of problem gamblers are men, young adults, ethnic minorities, and those employed in manual occupations.

Then there is a 6% figure of adults who were women that fell under those harmed primarily by gambling activity of others. This rate remained very much the same as the previous year.

Use the help provided

One of the biggest concerns is that the available help, tools, and resources are not being utilised. The National Gambling Treatment Service has provided support to about 8,490 people in 2021. According to GambleAware, this is still a big concern as the numbers should be higher.

For every person they’ve helped, they could’ve assisted 160 more, as the National Gambling Treatment Service is available to all in need of assistance.

The National Gambling Treatment Service is free, confidential support that is easy to access and effective. It is available to anyone struggling or those concerned about their loved ones. The contact details are available with support available to assist at any time of day or night.

The main goal is to curb the problem gambling issue and assist players at online casinos in any way possible.

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