A recent survey published by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission shows the number of minors (those ages 17, and under) are gambling LESS, than when compared against figures from previous years.
The survey highlighted some surprising findings, with 12% of 11-16 year olds having admitted to gambling in one way or another in the past week – down from 16% the previous year. More promising, is that the figure is far lower than the 23% figure which was reported in the same survey, conducted in 2011.
Of those surveyed around 0.9% reported signs of being ‘problem gamblers’ – a number that has more than doubled, from the 0.4% recorded the previous year – although it should be pointed out that the previous years study only included data from 12-15 year olds – essentially removing those ages 11, and 16 from the survey.
Have The Government Managed To Reduce The Appealability Of Gambling To Youngsters?
At first, it may be tempting to credit the United Kingdom’s Government, along with the United Kingdom Gambling Commission for reducing the number of youngsters gambling, but the figures could actually highlight a more worrisome trend:
Of the minors studied, the majority stated that the gambling actives they participated in were using fruit machines, in either arcades, pubs, or clubs. With venue more stringent on age checks than ever before, it seems natural that identification checks are more commonplace – helping stop youngsters gambling – but could this mean minors are turning elsewhere to gamble?
Unregulated online casinos spring to mind – although it remains to be seen as to whether this could have had an impact on the figures, or whether it’s just speculation thinking.
Perhaps one of the biggest takeaways, is that a whopping 80% of respondents reported that they’d seen gambling-related advertising on TV – something that both the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency) are almost certainly going to pick up on.
The debate surrounding airing gambling adverts on TV has existed for years – but with the UK’s Labour party taking a clear stance on wanting to reduce gambling – in all forms – it’s very likely this 80%-figure will be used to bring in new regulations surrounding the legalities of whether or not online gambling operators can advertise on TV – and, if so, what they can advertise.
An interesting study for sure, and with much heat on online gambling operators as it is, right now, the next few months will be interesting, to see how both operators and legislators respond.