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New report highlights gambling is being normalised for young people

27 June 2018
Two kids on laptop unsupervised 0

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) has today published advice to the Gambling Commission on children and young people and gambling, urging ministers to take action to stop the normalisation of gambling and gambling behaviour.

The main findings of the report include:

  • More than 90 per cent of young people have been exposed to gambling adverts on TV and social media
  • Gambling is more popular amongst some children than ten-pin bowling and skateboarding
  • More than 10 per cent of under 16s gambled in the previous week

The RGSB recommends that parents, schools and the government all need to play their part to combat the problem.

Of particular concern was that some forms of gambling - such as lottery scratch cards with themes such as "Santa’s Millions" - were being targeted at children, encouraging them to participate. Children are still able to gamble on fruit machines and can still register with online gambling sites, deposit cash and bet for three days while age-verification checks are being carried out.

CARE Senior Policy Officer, Chris Buttenshaw responds:

“CARE has long been concerned at how advertising has normalised gambling for a whole generation of children, making it seem harmless and without consequence, which we know is not the case.

“The Gambling Commission found that about 25,000 children aged between 11 and 16 are problem gamblers. As a society we should be deeply troubled by these figures and want to see greater responsibility taken by gambling companies.

“Bringing in a watershed on gambling advertising and strengthening age-verification tools would help to minimise some of the harm being wrought by gambling on our children.

“The landscape has significantly changed over the last few years in relation to gambling, with technological developments and increased betting options. Our laws are not keeping pace with these changes and this advice from the RGSB puts the onus on the Government to urgently review what more can and should be done to protect our children and young people.”

To read more about our work on gambling, please click here.

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