The UK Gambling Commission Releases Annual Young People and Gambling Report
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has recently published its annual report on young people and gambling. This report aims to shed light on the exposure and involvement of children and young individuals in various forms of gambling.
The study was carried out in schools, where students completed online surveys during their classes. The research collected data from a sample of 3453 individuals aged 11 to 16, as well as 17-year-olds attending schools in England, Scotland, and Wales.
Highlights of the 2023 Report:
– 26% of respondents used their own money for gambling within the past year, which is a decrease from the 31% recorded in 2022.
– Excluding arcade gaming machines, which are legal for young people to play, only 4% of respondents spent their money on regulated gambling (age-restricted products), compared to 5% in 2022.
– The study identified 7% of respondents as problem gamblers, using the youth-adapted DSM-IV-MR-J screen. This is significantly higher than the 0.9% recorded in 2022.
– 5% of respondents were identified as at-risk gamblers, compared to 2.4% in the previous year.
– The percentage of respondents who saw gambling advertisements offline decreased from 66% in 2022 to 55% in 2023. Similarly, the percentage of those who saw online gambling ads decreased from 63% to 53% in the same period.
Legally Acceptable Forms of Gambling for Young People:
The UK Gambling Commission mandates gambling operators to implement strong safeguards to prevent children from accessing illegal products. As a result, most of the gambling activities young people engage in with their money are legal or do not involve age-restricted products. These activities include:
– Playing arcade gaming machines such as penny pusher or claw grab machines (19%)
– Placing bets with friends or family (11%)
– Playing cards for money with friends or family (5%)
Efforts to Protect Young People:
The UK Gambling Commission remains dedicated to protecting children and young individuals from harm. It is actively working on implementing relevant proposals outlined in the Government’s Gambling Act Review White Paper. These proposals include:
– Removing the current exemption from age verification test purchasing for small gambling establishments
– Revising the good practice code to require licensees’ staff to check the age of customers who appear to be under 25 rather than under 21
Furthermore, the Commission is also examining staff supervision in certain premises. In particular, it will explore the evidence surrounding venues with little direct staff supervision, such as Adult Gaming Centres in service stations, and assess whether existing requirements effectively prevent underage gambling.
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