Advertisement
News

UK has 400,000 problem gamblers, report finds

One in every eight young men in the UK has experienced difficulty with gambling in the past year, study says

Problem gambling is now widely recognised as a clinical addiction, a pursuit that can lead to poverty and ruins lives.

And a new report by the Gambling Commission has revealed the full extent of damaging habits, estimating that the UK now has 400,000 problem gamblers.

The report’s authors found 0.8% of the population could be classified as having a “problem” gambling habit – an issue now worrying common among young men. One in every 50 British men between the ages of 16 to 34 was identified as having a gambling addiction.

A larger group – 3.9% of the adult population – were deemed “at-risk” gamblers, either addicted to gambling or in danger of developing a problematic habit.

Astonishingly, one in every eight men between 16 and 34 has “experienced some difficulty with gambling in the past year.”

Gambling continues to cause harm to a significant number of people in Great Britain

Tim Miller, the Gambling Commission executive director, said the report showed the commission faced a “significant challenge” in meeting its commitment to make gambling safer.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“The pace of change to date simply hasn’t been fast enough – more needs to be done to address problem gambling,” Miller said.

Sir Chris Kelly, chairman of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board, said: “These new findings show that gambling continues to cause harm to a significant number of people in Great Britain.”

Online gambling and Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) were among the forms of gambling used by problem gamblers.

The Big Issue has previously investigated the problems associated with the FOBTs. Players are currently able to bet up to £100 per spin on the machines, allowing people to pile up losses incredibly quickly.

The Labour party and campaign groups have called for the maximum stake on the digital gaming machines to £2 per spin.

There is no economic argument for those machines at all

FOBTs have been shown to disproportionally impact on the poorest communities in the UK. Earlier this year the Bafta-winning screenwriter Jimmy McGovern condemned the spread of the machines in high street bookmakers as “immoral.”

“There is no economic argument for those machines at all,” he told The Big Issue. “They are immoral. They should not be on our high streets. The rate of suicide would also go down if you banned them. It would help hundreds of people, maybe thousands.”

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
'Enough is enough': Why workers and campaigners are protesting around the country
Cost of Living Crisis

'Enough is enough': Why workers and campaigners are protesting around the country

12 Black Britons everyone should know about
Social Justice

12 Black Britons everyone should know about

'People will starve and freeze' if government U-turns on promise to increase benefits
Cost of living crisis

'People will starve and freeze' if government U-turns on promise to increase benefits

Everything you needed to know about volunteering to get stuck in
Volunteering

Everything you needed to know about volunteering to get stuck in

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

To mark our new Arctic Monkeys exclusive interview, we’ve picked out some of our best band and musician interviews from the past, featuring Arctic Monkeys (2018), When Jarvis met Bowie, The Specials, Debbie Harry and more. Sign up to our mailing list to receive your free digital copy.