23 Oct

Fewer Minors Gambling in the UK in 2019

UKGC study reports underage gambling down 3% in 2019.

UK Gambling Commission Reports Underage Gambling down 3% in 2019

Each year, the United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission (UKGC), responsible for the regulation of all wager-related gaming in the region, hosts a multitude of surveys to determine the efficacy of their work. When things are looking up, they continue in that direction. Likewise, if the data reveals something is beginning to slip, or that a previously invoked measure isn’t getting its job done, they know to go back to the drawing board and look for a more competent solution.

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The UKGC had some good news to report in its latest research study. It turns out that minors aren’t gambling as much in 2019 as they were in years past. The reduction in numbers wasn’t as admirable as regulators would have liked, but it is at least a good sign that their efforts are working in a positive direction.

UKGC: Underage Gambling Down 3% in 2019

In its 2019 Young People & Gambling report, the UKGC published the findings of a survey that questioned 2,943 students between the ages of 11 and 16. The survey focuses on two major gaming groups – games that mimic gambling and are legal for children to play, and age-restricted games they are not legally permitted to play.

Among the findings were two key facts of interest, both pointing to a 3% reduction in gambling among minors. When asked if they had gambled with their own money in the past week, the number of affirmative responses fell 14% to 11% from 2018 to 2019. Likewise, when asked if they had gambled in the last year, the number of affirmative responses dropped from 39% to 36%.

36% is an awfully scary number, especially for parents who may have no idea just how interested their children are in gambling-related activities. 36% is more than 1/3 of the UK’s 11-16 year olds. It’s a scary number, and one that the UKGC certainly hopes to see diminish much more in the coming years.

In terms of underage problem gambling, unfortunately, the percentage rate in that category has not fallen, nor did it rise, holding steady year over year at 1.7%. That is one department where regulators will surely be looking to make improvements.

UK Looks at Ways to Curb Gambling Among Minors

“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,” notes The Commission.

So far, regulators have pinpointed a number of effective measures for reducing the prevalence of underage betting. They believe games that mimic gambling play a major role in the issue, and are actively working with gaming companies to put a stop to the development of such games.

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.”

Based on other findings, the UKGC is sure to make a greater effort to prevent children from being privy to gambling advertisements. The survey revealed that 69% of children had seen or heard ads for gambling in the last 12 months. Of them, only 83% said the ads had not prompted them to gamble; the reverse being that 17% were enticed to gamble by those ads.

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