Scottish pupils will be taught the dangers of gambling in a two-day online summit organised on 13 and 14 September by Glasgow City Council and supported by Public Health Scotland and the UK Gambling Commission.
Researchers, policy-makers and health experts will participate, in an attempt to explore and explain the dangers of gambling, as Glasgow is the region with the most betting shops in the UK (one for every 3.264 people, according to the University of Bristol).
With mobile apps bringing people closer to betting, gambling has been a booming business in recent years; in the UK alone, the industry is worth around £14bn ($19.4bn) every year.
According to Bailie Annette Christie, Converter for wellbeing, empowerment, community and citizen engagement at Glasgow City Council’s policy development committee, one of the reasons the gambling industry has grown so much is the exciting advertising and marketing which consists of very colourful and lively TV adverts and celebrity endorsement.
Another problem she mentions is the easy and permanent online access to gambling; during lockdown bookmakers and other retail outlets were closed, so bettors turned their attention to the Internet.
Christie also noted that gamblers are no longer just males of a certain age group: “It had been growing and changing for many years and the demographics of those impacted by gambling harms had changed. There is often a stereotype of going to the bookmakers and men of a certain age – but that is not the case.
“Anyone can be affected by gambling harms – men, women and young people.”
The Gambling Related Harm All-party Parliamentary Group has called for measures that include stake limits for online gamblers and banning all forms of betting advertising in sport.