Gambling addiction in the UK could be nine times worse than claimed

New research has suggested that gambling addiction rates could be nine times higher than the industry claims

Gambling addiction charges could be nine times higher than the betting industry claims, in line with a BeGambleAware study that found that no less than 1.4 million people who are being harmed by their very own playing, whereas an additional 1.5 million are in danger.

Published with the federal government weeks away from unveiling plans for a once-in-a-generation reform of playing legal guidelines, the survey is a part of a push by main charity GambleAware to encourage extra folks to seek treatment.

The online survey of extra than 18,000 adults carried out in 2021 discovered that as much as 2.8% of the inhabitants scored eight or higher on the issue playing severity index, a measure utilized by consultants to gauge hurt suffered by particular person gamblers.

The fee rises considerably amongst males, with 3.7% deemed to have an issue and 7.5% in danger, indicating that extra than a tenth of males are both combating playing or at risk of doing so. Among girls, addiction charges had been 2%, with 4% within the at-risk class.

Women had been extra prone to be among the many 6% of 3.3 million inhabitants, classed as “affected others”, which means that another person’s playing had an effect on them.

Despite the excessive charges discovered by the survey, simply 8,490 folks obtained remedy from the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) final 12 months, GambleAware mentioned, suggesting that for each individual receiving assistance, 160 who could profit from it didn’t.

The NGTS includes providers together with GamCare, Gordon Moody and the Primary Care Gambling Service, providing confidential remedies and assistance for anybody experiencing playing harm. Nine out of 10 individuals who accomplished remedy an NGTS service noticed their situation enhance, GambleAware mentioned.

YouGov’s estimate that 2.8% of persons are struggling with gambling-related hurt is nine times higher than the 0.3% fee discovered by the Gambling Commission’s phone survey, a measure that has been regularly cited by playing industry lobbyists to point that addiction is on the decline.

The YouGov determine can also be far in extra of the 0.5% present in face-to-face research carried out for the NHS in 2016.

GambleAware mentioned this was doubtless resulting from methodology, as folks participating in online surveys could be disproportionately prone to be experiencing problems with playing. However, it mentioned that whereas YouGov’s figures had been prone to be on the “upper bounds” of the true addiction fee, the survey had been rigorously managed to forestall the information being skewed. The charity urged different surveys could be underestimating the true determination.

A spokesperson for the Betting & Gaming Council, mentioned: “We do not recognise these figures which are not supported by the Gambling Commission’s most recent research which showed rates of problem gambling have been falling, according to the regulator at 0.3% – down from 0.6% 18 months ago. That’s equivalent to a drop of 340,000 problem gamblers down to 170,000 – not 1.4 million suggested by GambleAware.”

The nationwide lottery stays the preferred exercise, with 44% of adults participating. But the quickest rising space is online slot machines and online casino video games, which carry considerably higher charges of addiction, in line with earlier NHS surveys.

Anyone eager to get assistance or assist with playing, for themselves or one other, can contact the National Gambling Helpline on 0808.8020.133.

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