November 17, 2023 3 min read


New UKGC Report Reveals a Decrease in Youth Gambling

According to the Commission’s latest survey, the UK’s stringent standards on gambling ads are making a difference, as most problem metrics mark a notable decrease

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently unveiled its “Young People and Gambling Survey for 2023,” a comprehensive investigation into the gambling behaviors and experiences of individuals aged 11 to 17. Such statistics remain vital to assessing the effectiveness of existing youth gambling prevention measures and assisting lawmakers in making informed decisions.

Concerted Efforts Delivered Positive Results

This latest survey represents an expansion from previous reports, encompassing a broader age range to include 17-year-olds in year 12 and pupils from independent schools. The study engaged 3,453 online participants across England, Scotland, and Wales, offering a detailed overview of young people’s involvement in various gambling activities.

For the first time, we have collected data from 17-year-olds and pupils from independent schools, enhancing our understanding of gambling behavior among young people.

UKGC Research & Statistics Team

Overall results remained consistent with last year’s survey, but the 5% overall gambling participation decrease was encouraging, indicating that existing youth gambling prevention measures had a positive effect. Excluding the more innocuous arcade game category, only 4% engaged in regulated gambling, hopefully setting the start of an encouraging trend.

The report detailed a 10% decrease in exposure to gambling advertisements among 11-17-year-olds, both online and offline. Despite this decline, 15% of participants followed a gambling company on social media platforms, predominantly on YouTube (10%), TikTok (9%), and Instagram (7%). These results should be invaluable to the UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC)’s mission to curb exposure to underage individuals.

Updated Legislation Should Preserve This Optimistic Trend

The report revealed that approximately 26% of individuals aged 11 to 17 actively gambled using their money over the past year. Among these activities, arcade gaming machines remained the most popular at 19% participation, followed by 11% of respondents betting money with friends and family. Online gambling participation remained consistent, as 1% of children spent money on esports betting or iGaming.

Other survey highlights included specific percentages regarding problem gambling, with 0.7% identified as problem gamblers, 1.5% at risk, and 23% classified as non-problem gamblers. Moreover, approximately 74% of respondents did not actively participate in gambling over the past year, indicating an increase from the previous figure of 2.4% among at-risk gamblers.

The Commission urged industry stakeholders to consider the report and understand the reasons behind gambling behaviors and the contexts in which these activities occur. The observed decreases in gambling rates directly result from the UKGC and BGC’s ongoing vigilance. The upcoming White Paper envisions additional youth protection measures and should hopefully set a new standard for youth protection across the UK.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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