New figures released by the Gambling Commission confirm the rates of problem gambling have remained historically low at 0.2% in the year to June 2022.
The latest statistics showed the rate of problem gambling in the year to June 2022 was 0.2 per cent – down from 0.4 per cent the year previous and remaining the same as the last published annualised figures in April 2022. The rate of problem gambling among women have stayed steady, and low, at 0.1 per cent. These rates are low by international standards.
These figures are published around the time of much discussion about the forthcoming white paper that we in the industry strongly support and have long campaigned for.
It is essential that we do not do anything that inadvertently drives any of the 22.5 million regular punters away from the regulated industry and into the arms of the unsafe, unregulated and growing gambling black market online.
Most problem gamblers do not suffer from addiction, gambling addiction requires a clinical assessment. The two are often conflated, but they are entirely different.
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “These newly released figures are yet again further evidence of the positive progress we have made on problem gambling, which is low by international standards and has fallen in recent times, thanks to the many initiatives we have taken including using advertising to promote safer gambling tools like deposit limits and time-outs, as well as other changes we have made to further raise standards.
“Around 22.5m adults in the UK bet each month and it is clear once again that the overwhelming majority do so perfectly safely and responsibly. However, one problem gambler is one too many and there is no room for complacency. That’s why our work continues to raise standards across the regulated industry, in marked contrast to dangers posed the unsafe, unregulated and growing online black market.
“The latest problem gambling figures will come as a blow to anti-gambling prohibitionists who like to vastly overstate the issues to suit their efforts to treat gambling like tobacco, not like alcohol, but it also provides food for thought for new ministers considering a white paper this autumn. We look forward to the white paper as an opportunity to drive further changes, but the new government should be guided by evidence and seek to carefully target future measures on problem gamblers and those at risk – not intrude on the perfectly safe enjoyment of millions of punters who’s choice of leisure does so much to support jobs and the economy, as well as providing a lifeline for sports like racing”.