A new report in the UK has been published that confirms what everyone knows anyway – that people in the UK love a flutter. Figures reveal that in 2018, half of the UK’s population placed a bet on some kind of even at least once during the year.
The survey also revealed that two thirds of men aged between 25 and 34 gambled in 2018, and that nearly half of that number did so online.
The NHS survey questioned 10,000 people about their UK lifestyle habits
The National Health Service survey polled 8,000 adults and 2,000 children about all aspects of their lifestyle, not just online gambling. Other lifestyle factors they were questioned about included dietary choices and overall health.
NHS chief executive Simon Stevens said he was dismayed by the findings of the report. “‘These new stats are a stark reminder of how common gambling is in our society,” he said, “and how easy it is to become addicted, particularly with the aggressive push into online gambling. It is high time that all these firms who spend many millions on marketing and advertising step up to the plate and take their responsibilities seriously.”
This report is the first such report that has questioned people in the UK about their gambling activities. It also revealed that 15 percent of men in the UK indulge in online gambling.
Plenty of people have weighed in with their opinions on the survey results
Plenty of experts in the field of gambling weighed in with their own opinions on the survey results.
“This hasn’t happened by accident as we have so many more opportunities to gamble than we did a few years ago, from the lottery to online poker and bingo,” said Ian Hamilton of the University of York, where he is a lecturer on addictions.
‘Many people enjoy an occasional flutter on the Grand National or the lottery but no gambling is entirely risk-free. “ said Matt Zarb-Cousin, a former problem gambler himself and leader at the Campaign for Fairer Gambling. “We have seen an increase in popularity of the more dangerous and addictive forms of gambling, online and in fixed odds betting terminals. This means the quantity of harm gambling is causing on society has increased. The younger you start the more likely you are to become addicted. Online gambling poses a huge risk to a whole generation of young men.”
The UK Government has already taken several steps to tackle the problem of online gambling
The UK government have already made several changes to gambling legislation in recent years in order to help those for whom gambling (including online gambling) has turned from a casual pastime into a serious problem. Last year, the Conservative government reduced the legal ‘maximum bet’ of Fixed Odds Terminals (which allow betting shop users to play games such as roulette and blackjack) from £100 to £2. All parties (except for the Brexit party) included measures to tackle problem gambling in their 2019 General Election manifestos.
Despite the alarmist views espoused by many, only four percent of the UK population have been judged as ‘problem gamblers’. This compares to the recorded 15 percent of the population who admitted to ‘binge drinking’ at least once per week.
The NHS already helps children who have become addicted to gambling
The UK’s gambling legislation board – the UKGC – has also recently made changes to its legislation. Online gambling companies now have to provide stringent checks on their clients to make 100 percent certain that no one under 18 can access their site. In addition, people in the UK can no longer play ‘play money’ versions of online gambling software games unless they have completed a successful registration at an online gambling site and hence proved that they are over 18.
Despite these moves, the NHS says that 55,000 children in the UK say that they are ‘problem gamblers’. The NHS has recently opened NHS Gambling Clinics in London, Leeds, Manchester and Sunderland aimed at helping children and young adults cope with their gambling issues.
The NHS survey paints an unpleasant picture of peoples’ health in the UK
In other sections of the report, only 28 percent of adults said that they ate the recommended five or more portions of fruit or vegetables per day. One in four men in the UK are classified as obese, as are 29 percent of women. Seven percent of people in the UK have been diagnosed with diabetes, a rise of 2 percent from 1994.
Here at NewCasinos.org we encourage all our site users to gamble responsibly. Never gamble with money that you cannot afford to lose. If you do feel you have a problem with gambling and online gambling in particular, then there are several organisations that exist to help you, such as GamCare.