BGC welcomes low problem gambling rates in UK

The Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed new figures from the Gambling Commission that confirm the rates of problem gambling have remained historically low at 0.2% in the year to June 2022.

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The 0.2% figure is down from 0.4% the year previous, and remains the same as the last published annualised figures in April 2022. The rate of problem gambling among women has stayed at 0.1%, which the BGC noted is low by international standards.

The figures come amid the impending UK Government review of the Gambling Act 2005, with a White Paper expected to be published soon after several delays.

“These newly released figures are yet again further evidence of the positive progress we have made on problem gambling, which is low by international standards and has fallen in recent times, thanks to the many initiatives we have taken including using advertising to promote safer gambling tools like deposit limits and time-outs, as well as other changes we have made to further raise standards,” said BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher.

“Around 22.5m adults in the UK bet each month and it is clear once again that the overwhelming majority do so perfectly safely and responsibly. However, one problem gambler is one too many and there is no room for complacency. That’s why our work continues to raise standards across the regulated industry, in marked contrast to dangers posed by the unsafe, unregulated and growing online black market.”

Dugher added: “The latest problem gambling figures will come as a blow to anti-gambling prohibitionists who like to vastly overstate the issues to suit their efforts to treat gambling like tobacco, not like alcohol, but it also provides food for thought for new ministers considering a white paper this autumn.

“We look forward to the white paper as an opportunity to drive further changes, but the new government should be guided by evidence and seek to carefully target future measures on problem gamblers and those at risk - not intrude on the perfectly safe enjoyment of millions of punters whose choice of leisure does so much to support jobs and the economy, as well as providing a lifeline for sports like racing.”

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