Problem Gambling Rate Rises in 18-24 Age Group

The latest UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) survey shows that while the problem gambling rate remains stable, there has been an increase in the 18-24 age group.

The number of people who are gambling in-person is steadily rising. With lockdown restrictions now lifted, more people are again going to their local bookmakers, casinos, race meetings and bingo halls. Some players are still reluctant to do this though and prefer to remain betting online. For the year to June 2022, the in-person gambling participation rate is 25% and 26% for online.

The numbers for online betting remain stable when compared to 2021. There is still long-term growth and one reason is the increase in the number of online lottery tickets that are being purchased.

An important statistic is the problem gambling rate. This remains stable at 0.2%. The moderate risk and low rate figures remain stable at 1% and 1.5% respectively. For males, the figure was 0.3% which is a lower statistic than last year. The UKGC said the change was not statistically significant. For females, it was the same 0.1% figure as recorded in 2021.

The UKGC survey interviewed 4,018 people via phone interviews. A Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) was used.

One stand-out statistic is that the problem gambling rate for 16-24 year olds is 0.8%. The 2021 figure for that age-range was 0.4%. However, again the UKGC say this is not statistically significant.

Previous surveys have always had the 35-44 age group as the one that has the highest rate of problem gambling. The latest figures though saw a reduction from 0.8% last year to 0.2% this year.

The UKGC survey found that 42.9% of respondents had gambled in one way or another in the previous four weeks. Those in the 45-54 age group were most active with a percentage of 49.1%, with 33.2% going online to gamble. Despite the high figure for gambling, none of the 596 people surveyed were classed as problem gamblers.

The figures will make interesting reading for the new Prime Minister. Publishing the White Paper on gambling reform has been delayed until either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss (the latter according to the latest betting odds) takes office.

While it is good that the general gambling problem rate is stable, there will still be several strict measures put in place in the White Paper. It seems most of the emphasis will be placed at the foot of the door of online casinos and slots players. Reduced maximum stake limits and stricter affordability checks are possible.