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Two-thirds of Brits say betting companies not taking problem gambling seriously

19 August 2021
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Two thirds of British adults believe betting companies are not taking gambling addiction seriously enough, a new report by YouGov shows.

The report, which analysed survey data on international attitudes towards gambling, also found consensus across different countries that companies are failing to protect vulnerable customers.

Almost 7 in 10 (69 per cent) of Italian adults, 66 per cent of British adults, 59 per cent of French adults and 52 per cent of German adults agreed with the statement ‘gambling firms don’t take problem gambling seriously’.

Overall, 57 per cent of all respondents, from North American, European, and Asia Pacific countries, agreed companies aren't serious enough about addiction.

YouGov states: “On the issue of problem gambling, it is in countries where there are the most liberalized regimes that people believe that gambling firms don’t take problem gambling seriously enough. In Italy, 69% agree with this statement while in Great Britain this stands at 66%.”

Commenting on the figures, CARE spokesman James Mildred said:

“While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Addiction to betting can lead to job loss, relationship breakdown, family breakdown and suicide. With a continued rise in gambling addiction, undoubtedly fuelled by the lack of robust regulation, it is obvious gambling companies are not doing enough to protect vulnerable users. This sends a message that they simply do not care. The public are hearing that message loud and clear.

“Staggeringly, 60 per cent of profits betting companies make are levied from the five per cent of customers who are problem gamblers or are at risk of becoming so. I believe firms are failing in their moral duty to protect customers. They must do much more, including better monitoring of customer habits, blocking users who demonstrate addictive tendencies and ploughing significant investment into addiction services to help those who they’ve lured into addiction gain freedom.”
James Mildred CARE

The YouGov study also demonstrated a huge shift towards online betting and away from more conventional types of gambling, particularly in the United Kingdom. The report states:

“Fuelled by innovation, de-regulation in key markets, and the pandemic, it’s clear that the popularity of online gambling globally has achieved new highs.

“Among those that have gambled in any form online in the past 12 months…63% of gamblers globally now prefer online to offline. That level of preference is driven by countries such as Great Britain and Italy and an apparent greater level of acceptance of online gambling as a leisure activity”.

Mr Mildred added:

“The significant shift towards online betting as opposed to more traditional forms is worrying as UK Gambling laws are seriously out-of-date. The Gambling Act, currently being reviewed by parliamentarians, is an analogue law for a digital age. MPs must carefully consider and prioritise stiffer online regulation of the gambling industry as part of any recommendations they make for the government.

“Time and again we see gambling companies using the right words and saying the right things but there is a real failure to follow through. That’s why we continue to believe that it is up to parliament and the government to hold the betting industry to higher standards."
James Mildred CARE

Last week, research carried out by CARE revealed that 9 out of 20 Premier League teams have a betting ad on their strip this season, the same proportion as in 2018.

The study also found that a total of 19 clubs partner with betting firms in some way, meaning ads will appear on official channels such as websites and stadium noticeboards, if not on strips.

By contrast, the number of betting-related shirt sponsors in the Championship has dropped significantly. Just 6 teams host a betting company on their strip this season compared to 17 in 2018. However, 15 clubs out of 24 still partner with betting firms in some way.A spokesman for CARE commented:

“The continued prevalence of gambling-related advertising in the Premier League is dispiriting. There is growing concern about the level of problem gambling in the UK, fueled by an industry that bombards sports viewers relentlessly with offers, without due warning of the risks. Football clubs are fully aware of this problem, yet many seem to be doing little to curb those responsible.

“The fact that close to half of top tier clubs have gambling ads emblazoned across the chests of players is especially hard to stomach. There has been no change to the extent of this advertising in 4 years. The presence of ads on shirts sends a message that gambling is harmless fun. For many thousands of families blighted by addiction, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Premier League bosses should follow the lead of their contemporaries in the Championship who have broadly moved away from including betting companies as main club sponsors. It’s time bosses truly stepped up for vulnerable fans by showing betting companies the red card.”
Spokesman CARE


Notes for Editors:

For interview requests or more information please contact Jamie Gillies: // 07384467819

CARE is a well-established mainstream Christian charity providing resources and helping to bring Christian insight and experience to matters of public policy and practical caring initiatives.

Helpful resources

YouGov report:

yougov-global-gambling-report-1.pdf (

YouGov report demonstrates how innovation has driven popularity in online gambling Prolific North

Data tables for betting sponsorship:


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While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

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