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Jerome García June 26, 2023 3 min read
LGBTQ+ Communities Are at Higher Risk of Problem Gambling, Says Study
Details from new research suggest that while LGBTQ+ people are more vulnerable to problem gambling, they are yet to receive effective treatment and support
The award-winning charity that is committed to preventing young people and children from experiencing gambling harm by raising awareness and providing education, YGAM, released details regarding a new study that probed into the effect of gambling and gambling harm on LGBTQ+ communities. Dr Bush-Evans, a Lecturer in Psychology and a member of the Gambling Research Group at Bournemouth University, shared key details from the study with YGAM, revealing interesting patterns and discoveries.
The new study was conducted among 321 LGBTQ+ adults around the UK and uncovered that more than half of those who gambled or 67.3%, experienced some form of gambling harm. On the other hand, some 14.3% of the LGBTQ+ adults that gambled showed signs of problem gambling. A comparison of the aforementioned numbers with 2021 YouGov data shows that LGBTQ+ people are at a higher risk of gambling harm when compared to the general population.
The latest study uncovered that stigma, discrimination, isolation and other mental health issues impact negatively LGBTQ+ people’s lives, with 71% admitting they experience some form of harassment or discrimination in their life. Such negative factors, in turn, can help push more people to problem gambling as the activity can be perceived as a coping strategy, the recent study suggests.
“The research found that LGBTQ+ people who experience distress caused by such life stressors are statistically significantly more likely to experience gambling harms. Moreover, such individuals are likely to turn to gambling as a coping strategy,“explains YGAM
Effective Treatment and Support Is Needed
An important challenge uncovered by the study involves the correct gambling treatment and support LGBTQ+ people need. While some 77% of the interviewed admitted they would ask for help if their gambling goes out of control, many said that the current gambling support services cannot adequately cater to the needs of LGBTQ+ people. “The findings suggest that targeted safer gambling initiatives for LGBTQ+ individuals experiencing gambling-related harms should be a priority,” the study said.
“Being part of the LGBTQ+ community, you might not get the correct help or the correct support you need. LGBTQ+ people face unique issues. If the person you talk to is trained or has knowledge of what LGBTQ+ people go through, then they can do a better job,“reveals the recent study
More importantly, to receive proper gambling treatment, LGBTQ+ people need to discuss such issues with a trained professional that knows the unique issues they may face. This can help deliver effective treatment for LGBTQ+ people.
Some 53% or more than half of the interviewed LGBTQ+ people that gambled admitted to using three or more gambling accounts for activities such as betting, slots and lottery. Nearly half or 49%, admitted that they regret gambling while 41% said that they lose more money than they anticipated.