GambleAware’s Disturbing Minorities Report

It was Benjamin Disraeli, Britain’s very first ethnic-minority prime minister, well over a hundred years ago, who famously coined the phrase: “Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics.”

So it is with a measure of good sense that any report patently supporting the political view and social perspective of its commissioners should be handled with a healthy dose of scepticism.

Nevertheless, a just-released investigation by gambling addiction charity GambleAware–conducted on their behalf by highly-credible Ipsos UK and ClearView Research, and supported by Manchester University–has found evidence that this nation’s ethnic minority groups are more likely to suffer harms from gambling than the white British majority – even though, by a significant measure, their overall participation in betting is lower when compared to whites.

According to GambleAware 31 percent of the so-called “minority” population over 18-years-old take part in some form of gambling, compared to 48 percent of white British people.

But crucially, claims the charity, while around one-fifth of white bettors “suffer from some form of gambling harms” the “negative” impact of gambling was much higher on ethnic minority communities, being estimated at 42 percent.

Minority gamblers, moreover, are three times more likely than white majority counterparts to use gambling as a “coping mechanism” — in a vain bid to ameliorate life’s “challenges and difficulties”.

Of the ethnic minorities polled, some 18 percent said they resorted to gambling as a coping mechanism, compared to six percent of whites.

“The higher prevalence of gambling harms amongst minority groups, coupled with the fact they are less likely to access specialist gambling services, is alarming and demonstrates the clear need for further investigation and tailored solutions,” noted GambleAware Chief Executive Zoë Osmond.

“We need to break down the barriers to accessing support, and challenge the stigma and discrimination faced by these communities.”

While gambling itself is colour and ethnically “blind”, it would appear that the possible negative impact of excessive betting is most decidedly not.

“Services must be designed with the voice of minority communities centred throughout, and this research helps demonstrate that specific attention and specialised support is needed to effectively address these inequalities,” urged Niamh McGarry, Director of Impact at ClearView.

One can only hope that it does not take 155-years–the arc of time between Disraeli’s first premiership and that of Rishi Sunak, the current occupant of Number 10–to find an equitable solution.

Published on:
fast track