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New report highlights gambling harm faced by minorities

A new report by the Howard League of Penal Reform has found that ethnic minorities are at greater risk of gambling harm due to systemic racism.

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The report – titled ‘Lived experiences of gambling, gambling-related harms, and crime within ethnic minority communities’ – interviewed members of minority communities about gambling-related harms and found that many had gambled more to try and become better off financially.

People from all walks of life and religions were spoken to, with one man of Muslim faith stating: “It’s against our religion. I felt guilty for gambling, but that was within myself.

“I couldn’t talk to anyone about it, I didn’t even know I had an addiction for a while because, you know, from an Asian background, the word addiction doesn’t exist.

“I started, unfortunately, stealing money. Well, after I had used all my money, you know, I was like stealing money to keep gambling, and I would have to hide it away, of course, naturally, by trying to make excuses, but you know you can only make so many excuses until you’re caught out.”

The wider research also found that many routes for minorities led to gambling-related harm, especially highlighting the false hope that gambling offers in relation to addressing socio-economic disadvantages.

The report was put together by people with personal experience of gambling and published by the Commission on Crime and Gambling Related Harms, with the report acting as part of a series published by the organisation.

Lord Goldsmith KC, chair of the Commission on Crime and Gambling Related Harms, said of the report: “The findings from this study provide unique insight into how the inequalities and social, economic and cultural factors faced by people in ethnic minority communities critically impact their relationships with gambling and their experiences of gambling-related harms and crime.”

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