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GambleAware reports links discrimination with problem gambling

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According to a new study commissioned by GambleAware, people from minorities who suffer from a gambling addiction are more than 50% likely to experience racism and discrimination.

The study, conducted by Ipsos UK, ClearView Research and the University of Manchester with support from the University of Manchester focused on the potential link between discrimination and problem gambling. The GambleAware Charity published its findings today (6th December).

This study includes responses from 2 999 respondents, which include 1,779 British whites and 1,220 minorities. The study took place between May 2022, and included England, Wales, and Scotland.

GambleAware’s main finding is that discrimination and problem gambling are closely related. The majority of minorities with problem gambling are more likely than those without a gambling problem to be subjected discrimination.

Some respondents mentioned a connection between discrimination experienced and vulnerability to gambling harms. Racism and discrimination can lead to increased gambling behavior, feelings of exclusion and reduced employment prospects, and even a higher risk of mental illness.

Gambling was also cited as a way to cope by some. Three times as many people who come from minorities and gamble make the connection. Comparatively, only 6% white British gamblers made this statement.

Barriers to problem gambling

This study looked into the barriers that prevent people from seeking help for gambling addiction. The study found that people in minority groups were less willing to talk to their family or friends about gambling than those from white British communities.

Respondents from minority communities were less confident in talking with gambling support services or healthcare providers. Research has shown that minority communities are not aware of the support available.

Some respondents expressed a general lack of confidence in the healthcare system and services. It was because of their previous experiences with racism and discrimination when they sought healthcare.

Minorities also said they were disproportionately affected by advertising and marketing for gambling. It was due to their limited knowledge of the dangers associated with gambling. This made them more vulnerable to advertising.

GambleAware encourages the public to get help

GambleAware’s CEO Zoe Osmond stated that the results were alarming. She also encouraged those who are experiencing these issues to reach out to GambleAware, which can provide confidential support and guidance.

Osmond stated that “Gambling injuries can happen to anyone but can be worse and more frequent in groups who face social injustice, such as minority communities.” “Fortunately, there is help out there.

The National Gambling Support Network provides confidential and tailored support to people of all backgrounds. The National Gambling Support Network also engages in a great deal of outreach work to increase awareness and early intervention so people can find help and get support before their gambling problem becomes an addiction.

Funding for Gambling Support Organisations

GambleAware is launching a new fund-raising programme in the next few weeks. The new funding programme will address issues raised in previous research.

A separate study conducted earlier this year found that the gambling participation rate of minority groups is 31%. The rate of participation in gambling for white British citizens was 48%. However, only 42% of those from minorities who gambled suffered any gambling-related harm as compared to the 20% of British white gamblers.

GambleAware has responded by putting some PS4.3m ($5.4m/EUR5.0m) at the disposal of organisations in England and Wales.

Anna Hargrave, chief commissioning officer at GambleAware said: “Our new fund-raising programme was developed in response to research that showed women and those from minorities ethnic or religious groups face greater harms due to gambling and more barriers when it comes accessing the services they need.”

The fund will help reduce gambling-related harm to women, people of minority religions and ethnicities and those who are vulnerable.

GambleAware published other statistics this week. GambleAware reported that 6,645 individuals contacted National Gambling Treatment Service during the reporting period. Gambling harm data is for the period from 1 April to 31 March, 2023.

85% of the 5,621 patients who sought treatment through NGTS received it. Other 15% of people received help to deal with the effects of gambling.

Nearly 38% of the people who sought treatment did so for internet slots. Internet sports betting was second with 15.6%. The fixed-odds machines at bookmakers shops were second with 12.8%. Sports betting and gaming machine in bookmakers accounted each for 10.1%.

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