Yesterday, the UK Gambling Commission published a report on the gambling trends of 11-16 year olds across Great Britain.
Ipsos Mori, carrying out the long term research found some interesting data that represents a potentially changing field for young players. The research focuses on the forms of gambling and the gambling style games that young people legally participate in, also with consideration to gambling trends on age restricted products.
The survey presents a curious year on year downturn in participation of gambling forms. Recording 11% of 11-16 year olds using their own money to gamble within the last seven days compared to 14% in 2018. These figures in turn show a further decrease in participation since 2011 with 23% of the same age group using their pocket money to gamble in some form.
Tim Miller, Executive Director, Gambling Commission said:
“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”.
Gambling Activities Of An 11-16 Year Old
When looking at the types of gambling activity our youths are taking part in, 3% surveyed share that they have bought National Lottery scratchcards within the last seven days. 4% have used their money on slot or fruit machines often found in holiday parks, motorway service stations and seaside arcades and of course public houses. More interestingly the biggest gambling activity of this age group is placing ‘private’ bets with friends, currently placed at 5% of 11-16 year olds placing various friendly bets within the last seven days. Additionally 3% are placing bets when playing good old fashioned card games. Of those that say they have gambled in the last seven days, the money they spent specifically on gambling was on average £17.
Greater Awareness Of Gambling
69% of 11-16 year olds have seen or heard gambling adverts or sponsorship, for example on football shirts, yet of these, 83% share that despite seeing such advertisements, they hadn’t prompted them to want to gamble. UKGC are very eager to tackle the 17% that could fall foul of a gambling addition in their formative years.
A range of education and development programmes have already been and continue to be put in place by The National Strategy To Reduce Gambling Harms.
The overarching aim from The National Strategy To Reduce Gambling Harms to tackle problem gambling in our most vulnerable section of society joins forces with GambleAware and ParentZone, both organisations that educate parents and offer support around dealing with playing gambling style games and emerging gambling addiction amongst their children.
Fruit And Slot Machines In Pubs
Last year the UK Gambling Commission found that 88% of pubs and bars in England are not vigilant enough around stopping under 18’s accessing their fruit and slot machines. Last week UKGC has reinforced the clear message across all public houses, and more importantly local authorities regulating them, that they must take faster more effective action to eliminate underage playing.
UKGC Programme Director, Helen Rhodes said:
“The pub industry must accelerate action to enforce these rules. Pubs must take age verification on machines as seriously as they do for alcohol sales, and they risk losing their entitlement to offer machines if they do not”
The British Beer and Pub Association and UK Hospitality have responded to the recent UKGC calls by publishing guidance to their members on the importance of enforcing the legal requirements on use of fruit and slot machines in their establishments.