UK Gov. Report Shows Gambling Harms Burning £1.27 Billion Annually
The UK has a thriving online gambling industry that generates billions of dollars each year. While the gambling industry in the UK continues to grow each year, gambling harm related issues are also causing a serious problem for the UK government.
Gov. Sponsors PHE Gambling Market Study
The Department of Health and Social Care decided to commission the Public Health England (PHE) in 2019 to carry out a detailed review of evidence suggesting gambling related harm in the UK gambling market. This PHE study was the most in-depth study that the government has carried out on the gambling market till date.
The PHE study showed that gambling related harm in the UK during 2019 and 2020 cost the country £1.27 billion. The study shows that the UK is likely to suffer an even bigger loss going forward each year when you take into account the direct and the indirect financial losses brought about by problem gambling.
The market study from 2019 to 2020 showed that £619.2 million was lost as a result of gambling related suicides. This takes into account the age of the deceased and the loss of income and expenditure due to these gambling related deaths. The report also shows that another £62.8 million was lost during the same period due to the costs brought on by homelessness over gambling losses.
The financial impact was calculated based on a number of criteria which include employment issues, health related issues and family related issues. The study showed that there was a direct link between those who had a problem with alcohol and gambling. Those who were having problems with gambling also had mental health issues and their chances of committing suicide increased by 19x.
UK Government Must Do More
Some of the other findings include that men were 4.2x more likely than women to be exposed to gambling related harm while those who had an issue with their mental health were 2x more prone to engage in gambling related activities. The PHE report concludes that those who are battling a gambling related issue should be labeled as an individual battling a public health issue.
This is because the findings showed that when an individual starts to have issues with problem gambling it also starts to have a negative impact on their family, colleagues and friends. The report calls for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) and key stakeholders to work together to detect, prevent, educate and treat those impacted by problem gambling.