BGC reports decrease in problem gambling
The Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) has released figures that show a decrease in problem gambling among UK adults to 0.2% in 2022. This is down from 0.3% in the previous year, indicating that the UK’s problem gambling levels are below international standards.
The BGC believes that this reduction is evidence of the positive progress made in promoting safer gambling in the country.
22.5 million adults in the UK place bets every month according to current estimates, which directly contributes £7.1bn ($8.6bn) to the economy, with £4.2bn coming from tax revenue and supporting over 100,000 jobs. This highlights the significant role that the gambling industry plays in the UK economy.
Despite the positive news of the decrease in problem gambling rates, the BGC has called for a risk-based approach to tackle the issue. This approach should focus on helping the vulnerable rather than punishing the responsible majority who gamble safely.
The upcoming UK Government White Paper on gambling regulation is expected to have a significant impact on how the industry is regulated in the future. However, there is still no clarity on what it will include, and BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher recently stated that no one knows what will be in the report.
The BGC has called for the government to take an evidence-based approach to regulation and not to bow to the demands of anti-gambling prohibitionists who may vastly overstate the problem of problem gambling in the UK. Instead, the focus should be on helping the small minority who are vulnerable to harm.
It is essential to balance the need for safer gambling with the positive contributions the industry makes to the UK economy. The reduction in problem gambling rates is encouraging, but more needs to be done to ensure that those who are vulnerable receive the support they need. An evidence-based approach to regulation will help achieve this balance and protect the interests of both the industry and its customers.
The decrease in problem gambling rates among UK adults to 0.2% in 2022 is a positive development and evidence of progress in promoting safer gambling. However, it is important to ensure that any future regulations are evidence-based and focused on helping the small minority who are vulnerable, rather than punishing the vast majority who gamble responsibly.