New research from the Gambling Commission published on 24 August has found that the percentage of problem gamblers remains low but stagnant.
In the same report, the regulator has called for a renewed focus on addressing the harms that can arise from the issue.
Tim Miller (pictured), Commission executive director, said: “For many, gambling is an enjoyable leisure activity. But for some people gambling can become a problem with serious consequences for them, their families and their communities.”
The report provides, for the first time since 2010, a comprehensive analysis of gambling across Great Britain – examining the rates of participation, at-risk gambling and problem gambling, and explores the associated characteristics and behaviours.
It found that 1.4 percent of gamblers were classed as problem gamblers, with 6.4 percent at-risk – which is similar to the rate published in the 2012 report.
Overall, 63 percent of adults (aged 16 and over) in Great Britain had gambled in the past year.
“Whilst overall problem gambling rates in Britain have remained statistically stable, our research suggests that in excess of two million people are at-risk or classed as problem gamblers, with very many more impacted by the wider consequences of gambling-related harm,” Miller added.
“We have a clear commitment to make gambling fairer and safer and these figures show that this is a significant challenge. Success will depend upon us, the industry, government and others, all working together with a shared purpose to protect consumers. The pace of change to date simply hasn’t been fast enough – more needs to be done to address problem gambling.”