Disproportionate impact of gambling harms found by GambleAware study

Research commissioned by GambleAware, and conducted by YouGov, has found that 20 per cent of black, Asian, and minority ethnic adults surveyed experience some problems associated with their gambling (a PGSI score of 1+), compared with 12 per cent of white adults. 

Commenting that ‘ethnic communities are disproportionately impacted by gambling harms and have a higher demand for treatment and support,’ the research is a secondary analysis of a commissioned survey carried out in 2019. Seven per cent of those surveyed were also classified as ‘problem gamblers’ (PGSI 8+).

As well as revealing higher levels of harm, the findings also indicate a greater demand for treatment among ‘problem gamblers’ from minority ethnic communities. 

Three quarters of those from minority ethnic communities say they want some form of treatment, support, or advice, compared with 49 per cent of white ‘problem gamblers’. 

Potential motivators among respondents for seeking treatment, support, or advice included knowing they could get help over the phone (25 per cent), and knowing it would be completely confidential and free of charge (both 18 per cent).

A higher level of treatment usage within minority ethnic communities, with 71 per cent of ‘problem gamblers’ having reported using some form of treatment, support and advice, compared to 46 per cent of white ‘problem gamblers,’ was also indicated.

Briony Gunstone, research director at YouGov, explained: “This research shines a light on the disproportionate impact of gambling harms on black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities. It also indicates a particularly high demand for treatment, support, and advice, tailored to these affected groups. 

“The survey highlighted that increased awareness of support would motivate at risk gamblers to seek assistance. It is vital, therefore, to highlight the range of different services available, including telephone helplines such as the National Gambling Helpline, to make accessing treatment, advice, and support easier for gamblers from a minority ethnic background.”

In parallel, GambleAware has also published a review of the international evidence base, titled Disproportionate Burdens of Gambling Harms Amongst Minority Communities: A Review of the Literature, which identifies the need to engage directly with minority communities to understand the drivers of higher levels of gambling harm in these communities, noting a current dearth of such research.

“The prevalence of high levels of gambling harms among minority ethnic communities, coupled with the significant demand for access to treatment, support, and advice demonstrates the clear need to further strengthen and improve the existing provisions on offer,” added Marc Etches, GambleAware chief executive.

“Services must be flexible, meet the varying needs of individuals and it is vital they are easy to access for all minority groups. This will require active engagement with communities on the ground to understand their lived experiences, and to design services in accordance with these.  

“GambleAware will draw on the insights from these reports to inform additional investment in treatment and support services to address disparities between different communities.”

GambleAware will be commissioning research in 2021 to build knowledge of the lived experience of gambling harms within different minority ethnic communities, including treatment and support needs and preferences; and will also use insights from this new research to inform additional investment in treatment services.