UKGC Survey Finds 3% Decrease in Underage Gambling

  • Survey reveals 11% of those aged between 11 and 16 had gambled in the past seven days
  • Young people are participating in legal gambling, betting on age-restricted products
  • UKGC reiterates commitment to protecting young people from dangers of gambling
female child playing poker
The UKGC’s latest Young People and Gambling survey reports a 3% decrease in underage gambling in the United Kingdom. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Survey results

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) recently published the results of its 2019 Young People and Gambling survey, which suggests there has been a 3% decrease in the number of teenagers gambling in the United Kingdom.

Research conducted by Ipsos MORI reviewed several formats of gambling and gambling-type games that young people participate in legally, as well as gambling on age-restricted products.

Figures have improved from last year

Results of the survey indicate a slight decline in the number teenagers aged between 11 and 16 who have participated in gambling activities. The report states that 11% of those surveyed had gambled with their own money in the past seven days. In 2018, the same survey reported 14%.

According to the executive director of the UKGC, Tim Miller, the report shows that children and young people’s interaction with gambling or gambling behaviors comes from three sources. These are legal gambling, wagering on gambling-style games, and age-restricted products.

Mr. Miller pointed out that most gambling covered in the survey takes place in ways that the law allows. However, he stressed that the UKGC must continue to work to prevent children and young people from accessing age-restricted products.

Mr. Miller said: “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.”

Further findings

The report by the UKGC found that minors are likely to start with private bets when it comes to gambling, usually with their friends. Of those surveyed, 5% admitted to doing so. An additional 3% of those surveyed stated they played cards for money with friends.

3% of those surveyed stated they played cards for money with friends

A total of 69% were found to have seen or heard a gambling advertisement or sponsorship deal. A large percentage of 83% of those surveyed stated that the deals do not cause them to gamble.

Raising awareness

The UKGC continues to raise awareness involving the risks that can arise due to gambling style games like those found at social media sites or loot boxes.

While the commission does not have regulatory authority control in this rea, they are working with the gaming industry as well as social media outlets to ensure young people are protected.

84% of bars surveyed failed to prevent underage gambling on the fruit machines

The survey results come at a time when the UKGC began calling on bars in England and Wales to provide better safeguards preventing young people from gambling via fruit machines.

According to VSO News, a report was recently published that included new research on the matter. A total of 84% of bars surveyed failed to prevent underage gambling on the fruit machines.

Players must be 18 years of age or older to wager via the games. The UKGC is calling on bars to hold their staff accountable in stopping minors from accessing the games.