|Despite weeks of rampant media speculation to the contrary, a Government regulatory body has found that problem gambling in the UK has not altered for eight years.|
These were the findings of the UK Gambling Commission’s Prevalence Study released yesterday, which confounded media conjecture that the first analysis of its kind since 1999 would show significant increases in problem gambling throughout the nation.
According to the Study, 0.6 percent of the British adult population has a gambling problem, a number far lower than the one million suggested by some press outlets.
“The key message is that, overall, there has been surprisingly little change either in the number of gambling participants or to the number of problem gamblers since 1999,” said Peter Dean, the outgoing Chairman of the Gambling Commission.
'We remain concerned that there are still over a quarter of a million adults who are problem gamblers. The challenge, for us and for the industry, is to tackle this through the new licensing regime that has been put in place from September 1. British-based gambling operators must now comply with strict and detailed social responsibility obligations and we will monitor how these requirements are met.”
The next Prevalence Study is scheduled for 2009 with a full copy of the most recent findings available at gamblingcommission.gov.uk.
“We are delighted to see that the combined efforts of GamCare and the gaming industry, with its heightened commitment to the practices of social responsibility, has led to no increase in the number of problem gamblers in the UK,” said a spokesperson for the problem gambling charity GamCare.
'Operators have made and have indicated that they will continue to make concerted efforts to raise the awareness of the services provided by GamCare for those individuals who get into difficulty from gambling, including the decision to carry the GamCare Help Line number in their advertising.”