UK: drop in minors’ exposure to gambling ads

The Gambling Commission included 17-year-olds in the survey for the first time.
The Gambling Commission included 17-year-olds in the survey for the first time.

The Gambling Commission has published new research.

UK.- The British Gambling Commission has reported that new research suggests a drop in the exposure to gambling adverts among young people. Its annual Young People and Gambling survey found that the number of 11 to 17-year-olds who saw or heard gambling adverts in the last 12 months fell by 10 percentage points year-on-year.

Some 55 per cent of respondents had seen online gambling ads, while 53 per cent saw offline ads. The figures last year were 66 per cent and 63 per cent respectively. The numbers are based on a survey of 3,453 minors in schools via online self-completion surveys between February and July. This year’s survey included 17-year-olds for the first time, having previously focused on 11 to 16-year-olds.

The number of respondents who had spent money on gambling also fell, down from 31 per cent in 2022 to 26 per cent. Spending was mainly on legal gambling, including on arcade machines like penny pushers and claw grab machines (19 per cent), bets with friends and family or on cards.

Just 4 per cent spent money on age-restricted regulated gambling, down from 5 per cent in 2022. Meanwhile, the proportion identified as being at risk was down from 2.4 per cent to 1.5 per cent. Some 80 per cent of those who gambled said they did so for fun.

The Gambling Commission said: “The Commission requires gambling operators to have strong protections in place to prevent children from accessing products illegally. This means the most common types of gambling activity that young people spent their own money on were legal or did not feature age-restricted products.”

It added: “Protecting children and young people from harm remains a priority for the Commission and it is working hard to implement relevant proposals by government in its Gambling Act Review white paper.”

The Gambling Commission has confirmed that consultations regarding the reform of British gambling regulations will continue well into 2024, the Gambling Commission has revealed. The regulator has advised stakeholders that it will launch seven more consultations on topics stemming from the UK government’s gambling white paper.

Tim Miller, the Gambling Commission’s executive director for policy development, said the next consultations will deal with “socially responsible incentives, customer-led tools, transparency of customer fund protection, annual financial contributions to research, prevention, and treatment, regulatory data reporting, financial penalties, and financial key event reporting.”

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