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Young People and Gambling Report 2019 Published

by Glenn Baird - October 23, 2019

The Young People and Gambling report for 2019 was published today with the UK Gambling Commission claiming that its findings prove that there has been a decline in the number of young people partaking in gambling activities.

The survey was distributed throughout secondary schools in the UK, with a total of 606 schools selected and 124 agreeing to take part. In each school a year group was selected at random, with one class from that year group comprising the young people who took part in the survey.

The survey revealed that 11% of the young people surveyed had spent their own money on gambling within the last 7 days. This is a decrease of 3% from the findings that were revealed in 2018, with the UKGC pointing out that this is a decreasing trend from the 23% set in 2011.

It was also revealed that 36% of the young people surveyed had placed a bet with the last 12 months. Again, this is down on the 39% that was established in 2018.

However, there has been an increase, albeit a small one, on the number of young people classified as “at risk” gamblers, increasing from 2.2% in 2018 to 2.7% in 2019.

Tim Miller, Executive Director, Gambling Commission had the following to say about the report’s findings:

“This report demonstrates that children and young people’s interaction with gambling or gambling behaviours comes from three sources – gambling on age restricted products and gambling style games. Any child or young person that experiences harm from these areas is a concern to us and we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to protect them from gambling harms.

“Most of the gambling covered by this report takes place in ways which the law permits, but we must keep working to prevent children and young people from having access to age restricted products. Where operators have failed to protect children and young people we have and will continue to take firm action. This year alone, we have tightened rules and requirements around age verification to prevent children and young people from accessing age restricted products, put free-to-play games behind paywalls, and clamped down on irresponsible products.

“We have been raising awareness about where risks may arise from gambling-style games such as loot boxes and social casino games for some time. Even though we don’t have regulatory control in this area we are actively engaging with the games industry and social media platforms to look at ways to protect children and young people.

“Protecting children and young people from gambling harms is a collective responsibility and requires us, other regulators, the government, gambling operators, charities, teachers and parents to work together to make progress.”