25,000 Young Brits Are Problem Gamblers, Report Claims
December 13, 2017
There are in the region of 25,000 young people across the UK who can be classified as problem gamblers despite their tender age.
That’s according to research carried out by the Gambling Commission, which is concerned that many thousands of British children are being exposed to gambling at a young age in situations and settings that leave them unaware of the potential risks involved.
The commission says that 0.9 per cent of 11 to 16 year olds around the country are ‘problem gamblers’ and a further 1.3 per cent of children in that age bracket are ‘at risk’ of having their gambling habits become seriously problematic.
Other worrying statistics suggest that 12 per cent of 11 to 16 year olds have spent their own money on gambling during the past week, as of December 2017, with the average amount of money spent in these scenarios estimated to be around £10.
Playing on fruit machines and buying National Lottery scratch cards are two of the more common means through which young people gamble but many are also exposed to opportunities to gamble through computer games and social media games.
Roughly 80 per cent of the young people polled by the Gambling Commission said that they’ve seen betting company advertisements on television and 70 per cent said the same of gambling promotions on social media.
The concern for the gambling commission is that children are being exposed to a myriad of different opportunities to gamble without understanding the risks, which can eventually include serious financial concerns and problem debts later in life.
“We require gambling operators to have strong protections in place to prevent children from accessing their products and are actively reviewing how some, like age verification, can continue to be strengthened,” said Tim Miller, the Gambling Commission’s executive director.
“However, it is clear that many children’s experiences of gambling-style activities are coming from the playground, the games console or social media rather than the bookmaker, the casino or the gambling website.
“That’s why it is essential that we work across industries and with parents so that together we can protect children and encourage those that choose to gamble in adulthood to do so safely.”
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