Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Read on to discover a quintet of UKGC enforcement, a first for Crystal Palace, and the findings from GamCare, Betting and Gaming Council, National Council on Problem Gambling and GambleAware reports.
The UK Gambling Commission brought enforcement action against five land-based casinos, having uncovered a series of safer gambling, social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings.
The casinos in question were found to have failed to follow social responsibility and AML rules set by the Commission, and therefore the regulator put their operating licences under review.
A regulatory settlement of £260,000 was handed down to Clockfair and Shaftesbury Casino, with Les Croupiers Casino and Double Diamond Gaming to pay settlements of £202,500 and $377,340, respectively. A&S Leisure Group received a warning and will pay a £377,340 fine.
A GamCare survey found that 64 per cent of those affected by gambling harms believe that there aren’t enough resources available in the UK to gamblers, and their loved ones, experiencing negative impacts.
The charity says that it will use data gained from 343 respondents in its response to the consultation on the 2005 Gambling Act review, with the removal of sponsorships on football shirts and more targeted widespread support also noted as essential.
Aiming to put its service users’ views at the heart of its response to the government’s consultation, respondents stipulated the need for increased investment in research, education and treatment; as well as heightened support for those “who are currently under-represented in treatment services”.
Furthermore, it was added that there’s a need for more safer gambling messaging to be used by gambling businesses; a collaborative approach to finding the right combination of measures to regulate online gambling and reduce harms; consideration of greater resources to be given to industry regulation; and the introduction of an ombudsman to deal with complaints from the public.
An Ernst & Young report, commissioned by the Betting and Gaming Council, documented that members of the industry standards association contributed £7.7bn in gross value added to the UK economy in 2019.
This found that in 2019 the BGC’s members, made up of betting shops, casinos and online, directly employed 61,000 people, with a further 58,000 jobs generated by their supply chains.
It is added that nearly one-fifth of those employed in the industry (19 per cent) are under 25, with more than half (51 per cent) under 35. 22,000 of the 61,000 direct jobs are based in the north of England and Scotland, and 15,000 in London.
Furthermore, EY also found that BGC members directly contributed £3.2bn in tax to the Exchequer in 2019, accounting for 0.4 per cent of all Treasury revenues. When taxes paid through the supply chain are added, this rises to £4.5bn.
The report also highlighted that since the beginning of 2020, 374 betting shops and six casinos have closed, with an estimated loss of 5,000 jobs.
The National Council on Problem Gambling warned that sports betting appears to come with a higher risk of problematic play than most other forms of gambling, after releasing ‘National Survey of Gambling Attitudes and Gambling Experiences 1.0’ study.
However, it is noted that a number of unknowns are still prevalent in this area, such as the extent to which it is being driven by the widespread availability of illegal, unregulated play.
The non-profit’s largest research project to date, comprising more than 28,000 respondents, was conducted independently by Ipsos and sponsored by Entain, and suggests that sports bettors exhibit far more “problematic play” indicators than non-sports bettors. These include indicators such as ‘lied to hide gambling’ and ‘relied on others to pay debts or bills.’
It is further alerted that young adults are at greater risk of problematic play than any other demographic segment, but asserts that “there is no evidence that the risks of problematic gambling are affected by socio-economic status or by racial or ethnic background”.
GambleAware reported a year-on-year increase in those classified as ‘problem gamblers’ seeking help, especially during the pandemic, as the charity published its annual GB Treatment and Support survey.
Exploring the usage of treatment and support services among gamblers, and those affected by another’s gambling, the 2020 iteration, the second of its kind, used a larger sample size of 18,879 adults (2019: 12,161) in a bid to better assess prevalence according to age, gender, UK region, socio-economic and ethnic group.
GambleAware says that the research found a “statistically significant increase” in ‘problem gamblers’ (PGSI 8+) saying they have used any form of treatment, advice or support in the past 12 months, with six in ten (63 per cent) reporting they had, compared to just over half (54 per cent) one year earlier.
The latest data from the UK Gambling Commission has revealed that through January and February, activity in the online market declined following a traditionally busy period in December.
Data published by the UKGC, highlighting how further tightening of COVID-19 lockdown measures has impacted online gambling behaviour in Great Britain, saw a decrease of four per cent in active accounts and six per cent in bets, while gross gambling yield decreased by 19 per cent from December to February.
In a media release, the regulator noted that against the backdrop of this data and its own experience of the pandemic so far, ‘extra operator vigilance continues to be needed’ during the current national lockdown conditions.
Crystal Palace became the first Premier League club to roll-out a partnership with the UK’s free national self-exclusion scheme for online gambling, Gamstop.
This will see the club share information about the Gamstop service across the club’s social channels, including the women’s team, with advertising collateral at its Selhurst Park home to also be included.
Furthermore, Gamstop will provide free training to explain how the service can help vulnerable people within the local community.
Crystal Palace asserts that it is “committed to encouraging its supporters to gamble safely,” with this collaboration following the outfit linking-up with GambleAware in 2018 to produce advertisements and promotion material at Selhurst Park to raise awareness of the risks of gambling.