The interim report from the National Centre for Social Research, in collaboration with University of Liverpool, discloses the gambling habits of 140,000 active online gambling accounts.

Headline findings of the research:
Of the accounts which lost in excess of £2,000 during the year, around a third (36%) had received a ‘social responsibility’ contact during the year, while 0.84% received a phone call from an operator.

• 85% of accounts used for betting spent less than £200 on betting over the year between July 2018 and June 2019, while 90% of ‘gaming’ accounts had either an overall win or loss of less than £500 for the same period.

• The online betting sector derives an estimated 94% of its revenue from men, who held 78%of betting accounts.

• The 5% of online accounts with the highest losses generated a minimum of 70% of Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) in each of betting, virtual casinos, live casinos, and slots.

Eighty five percent of the accounts used for betting spent less than £200 over an entire year. That equates to £3.84 a week.

Does this not tell you that there is no real problem gambling issue in the UK? Certainly, some people do have an issue with problem gambling, and those people need help. But the impression given by the Press and from Members of Parliament is that problem gambling is widespread throughout the UK. Clearly it is not.

To put £3.84 per week into perspective: a Sunday Times newspaper costs £2.90, a Cadburys Dairy Milk chocolate bar (300g) costs £2.70.

One wonders why the gambling industry did not produce these figures before? Had it done so four years ago, the industry would not find itself in the current situation.

By Warwick Bartlett