Industry charity GambleAware has backed the publication of the UKGC sanctioned ‘Gambling, children and young people: A case for action’, a study undertaken by the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB).
The RGSB study informs the UKGC and further government stakeholders on the UK’s ‘young persons’ (under the age 18) gambling trends, exposure and personal safety.
The RGSB releases its findings on child gambling, as GambleAware prepares to launch its UK-wide safer gambling campaign, seeking to raise awareness of problem gambling as a health issue and broaden public understanding of gambling harms.
Tackling problem gambling amongst UK youngsters, the RGSB details ‘that around 0.9 per cent of children aged 11 to 15 are problem gamblers’, equating to around 31,000 UK children. Furthermore, the gambling research group believes that some 45,000 children (11-15) could ‘at-risk’ of falling into problem gambling issues.
In its report, the RGSB has put forward a series of recommendations for government and industry stakeholders, focusing on implementing stronger verification on player IDs, minimising marketing exposure to youngsters and cooperation on collecting under 18 data.
Marc Etches, Chief Executive of GambleAware issued the following response to the UKGC’s and RGSB study:
“GambleAware is concerned that 1 in 8 children aged between 11 and 15 years old are gambling regularly, and it is unacceptable that as many as 30,000 may be problem gamblers. Reducing gambling-related harms for children and young people requires firm regulatory action and we welcome the Gambling Commission’s focus on this issue.
It also needs action from parents, families and teachers if a real and lasting impact is to be made. For this to happen, there does need to be much more public debate about the role and position of gambling in society, and how best to protect children and young people from the harms that gambling can cause. In turn, as the Gambling Commission rightly notes, this requires support from a range of Government departments and other agencies to recognise gambling-related harms is a health issue that deserves our full attention.”