Newly released figures from the Gambling Commission are “yet again further evidence of the positive progress we have made on problem gambling,” says the Betting and Gaming Council.
This comes after the regulator reported that overall headline problem gambling rates have remained statistically stable, with general rates having further dropped from 0.4 per cent to 0.2 per cent for the 12 months to June 2022.
The UKGC survey breakdown of problem gambling participation also indicated a 0.3 per cent (2021: 0.6 per cent) and 0.1 per cent (2021: 0.1 per cent) split between males and females.
Michael Dugher, BGC Chief Executive, noted that these figures are “low by international standards” and notes the “many initiatives we have taken” in a bid to “further raise standards”.
Following publication of the data, the industry standards association asserts that “it is essential” that no action is taken that “inadvertently drives any of the 22.5 million regular punters away from the regulated industry and into the arms of the unsafe, unregulated and growing gambling black market online”.
“Around 22.5m adults in the UK bet each month and it is clear once again that the overwhelming majority do so perfectly safely and responsibly,” Dugher added.
“However, one problem gambler is one too many and there is no room for complacency. That’s why our work continues to raise standards across the regulated industry, in marked contrast to dangers posed by the unsafe, unregulated and growing online black market.
“The latest problem gambling figures will come as a blow to anti-gambling prohibitionists who like to vastly overstate the issues to suit their efforts to treat gambling like tobacco, not like alcohol, but it also provides food for thought for new ministers considering a white paper this autumn.
“We look forward to the white paper as an opportunity to drive further changes, but the new government should be guided by evidence and seek to carefully target future measures on problem gamblers and those at risk – not intrude on the perfectly safe enjoyment of millions of punters who’s choice of leisure does so much to support jobs and the economy, as well as providing a lifeline for sports like racing”.