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Alarming new problem gambling figure shows need for reform

24 November 2023
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A significantly higher rate of problem gambling than previously thought shows the need for reforms to rein in Big Betting, CARE has said.

New data from the Gambling Commission suggests 2.5 per cent of the adult British population could be struggling with a gambling problem.

The organisation, which regulates the betting industry, has previously calculated that the number is as low as 0.3 per cent.

The new figure - based on "higher quality" data - would equate to around 1.3 million people in Great Britain.

Tim Cairns, gambling policy expert at CARE, said:

“These figures are alarming but not surprising to charities working in this area, which are concerned about the regulative landscape we inhabit. The sad reality is that big gambling has spent 20 years making their product more addictive, easier to play, and available 24/7 whilst ignoring pleas from suffering individuals. This has led to endemic levels of problem gambling.

"The government has promised changes to gambling legislation. If gamblers are to be kept safe, advertising needs to be cut and the gambling industry needs to be placed under a levy that is sufficient to properly meet the public health crisis it has inspired. At least five per cent of industry profits. Other measures are needed as well - the industry must be reined in to ensure that it is not free to target the vulnerable in years to come."


Notes for Editors

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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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