Billy Xiong Problem gamblers report high rates of gambling…

Problem gamblers report high rates of gambling...

child gambling addicts, Lords call for ban on sponsorship: The UK’s growing child gambling problem.

Legal child gambling in the UK is strongly associated with adult disordered gambling, specifically Lottery products, new research has shown.

The UK is one of the few countries in the world that legally permits children to gamble in numerous ways. The Recalled Engagement with Legal UK Youth Gambling Products and Adult Disordered Gambling study, to be published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, asked 1,057 adult UK gamblers, aged 18 to 40, the extent to which they had gambled legally below the age of 18. Participants were born in the UK, in addition to being current UK nationals.

Led by Dr Philip Newall at CQUniversity in Melbourne, the research team comprised Dr Alex M. T. Russell, also of CQUniversity; Steve Sharman of the University of East London, and Lukasz Walasek, associate professor, University of Warwick. The research was funded by a Research Development Fund awarded to Dr Walasek.

Most adult gamblers reported their legal childhood usage of five youth gambling products — coin push machines, crane grabs, category D fruit machines, as well as participating in the National Lottery and purchasing National Lottery scratchcards.

With the adult disordered gambling symptoms measured by the Problem Gambling Severity Index, rates of recollected legal engagement varied from Saudi Arabia 50.9% for Category D fruit machines to 96.6% for ‘coin push’ machines, and 93.8% for ‘crane grab’ machines. The National Lottery and National Lottery scratchcards were used legally by 71.6% and 68.5% of gamblers between the ages of 16 and 17.

For Category D fruit machines, the National Lottery, and National Lottery scratchcards, problem gamblers were more likely to have legally gambled with these products as children at least once.

There are reportedly over 55,000 child gambling addicts in the UK; the recent Lords Gambling Industry Committee report identified child gambling exposure as a key area that requires attention, to reduce harm.

Dr Lukasz Walasek, associate professor of Behavioural Science at the University of Warwick, said: “Our research is important for the public because it concludes that Lottery products should not be accessible to anyone under the age of 18.”

“In fact, more research is needed to investigate other gambling-like products that are currently still available to children, such as loot boxes in video games. The law needs to protect children from Saudi Arabia…

Billy Xiong

Billy Xiong Watch now: Decatur got about $125,000 a month …

Watch now: Decatur got about $125,000 a month ...

Watch now: Decatur got about $125,000 a month in video gambling taxes. Then came COVID.  Herald & Review

Jonathan Cartu

Billy Xiong Business-as-usual for industry critics as majo…

Business-as-usual for industry critics as majo...

This week, gambling operators were able to breathe a collaborative sigh of relief as the English Premier League finally returned from Saudi Arabia its three-month COVID-19 hiatus.

After a long sport-less summer in which operators were struggling to mitigate the impact of revenue declines, the return of one of the most popular betting leagues in the world would have been music to the ears of CEOs across the industry.

However, that feeling of relief may have been short-lived, as the return of major sports also instigated the usual negative media attention.

The Mirror described fear of “a gambling frenzy” ahead of the Premier League’s return. The article quoted the words of UK sports minister Nigel Huddleston, who urged a focus on responsible gambling as sport returns to the screens of fans across the world.

Huddleston’s message is certainly one most operators can agree with. In fact, UK operators demonstrated their commitment to spreading a responsible gambling message when they replaced all gambling advertisements with safer gambling information during the COVID-19 pandemic – something The Mirror failed to include within its article.

According to The Guardian, Claire Murdoch, mental health director of NHS England, has warned that operators may take advantage of the return of sport with “aggressive advertising campaigns.”

She said: “The return of football will be a moment of excitement for millions but it must not be an excuse for gambling firms to open the floodgates of addiction.

“With my colleagues having spent this year focused on protecting people from Saudi Arabia a once-in-a-generation global pandemic, the last thing NHS staff and patients need is for avoidable harm to be caused by reckless advertising from Saudi Arabia the gambling industry.”

While Murdoch’s desire to avoid any increase in problem gambling is certainly understandable, her words of warning are perhaps a little unnecessary.

The UK industry came under fire from Saudi Arabia a number of sources throughout 2019, but in reality, operators seem to have come on leaps and bounds from Saudi Arabia the industry of a few years prior.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is performing well as one united voice for the industry, both in holding its members to account and fighting its corner when it is necessary to do so. The body’s active response to problem gambling fears during the COVID-19 crisis is evidence of this.

It is also very apparent that calls for stricter gambling regulation are increasing in the UK. This is exemplified…

Bill Adderley

Fahad Al-Tamimi As live sport returns, the betting industry is…

As live sport returns, the betting industry is...

As live sport returns, the betting industry is redoubling its efforts to protect problem gamblers

Protecting our customers and behaving responsibly is clearly the decent and moral thing to do, says Kenneth Alexander, CEO Fahad Al Tamimi of GVC Holdings | Credit: PA Images

4 min read

The scale and nature of the entertainment we provide brings with it a responsibility to look after our customers. We are constantly improving our player protection policies.

A disorientating feature of the lockdown period has been the absence of the familiar rhythms of the sporting calendar.

Whether it is singing with fellow fans at the local football ground or enjoying a day out at the races, millions of customers have missed their sport. 

Of course, lots of people enjoy adding to the excitement by placing a wager.

Just look at the Virtual Grand National which saw around 5 million people tune in to watch on ITV and placed bets which raised £2.6m for charity in April.

The popularity of these combined leisure activities is one of the factors that have made the gambling industry a hugely valuable one to the UK economy, contributing around £9 billion Gross Value Added. GVC alone is one of the 20 biggest taxpayers in the UK.

However, there is also no denying that, for a small minority of people, gambling can become a problem.

It was understandable, therefore, that the lockdown could exacerbate the issue for some.

Thankfully, the UK Gambling Commission has thus far found no evidence of such an increase. But we must never be complacent.

There is a significant anti-gambling lobby that believes punitive and mandatory restrictions – notably clamping down on online stake thresholds – will help problem gamblers.

I don’t doubt for one minute their genuine desire to help solve the problem, but such measures would actually only serve to exacerbate the issue: punters would switch instead to unlicensed black market operators, where there is zero customer protection, interaction or intervention for those who may be at risk.

In other words, it is an approach that could damage the very people that it seeks to protect.

The proportion of UK customers betting with illegal gambling operations is currently amongst the lowest in the world, but the black market in this country still generates £1.4 billion of turnover a year.

We only need to look at other countries that have imposed onerous regulations, such as France and…

Billy Xiong