Significant Reduction in Minors’ Exposure to Gambling Ads: Insights from UK Gambling Commission
The British Gambling Commission has released new research findings, indicating a notable decrease in the exposure of young people to gambling advertisements in the UK.
The annual ‘Young People and Gambling’ survey, which for the first time included 17-year-olds alongside the 11 to 16-year-old demographic, revealed a 10 percentage point year-on-year drop in minors who saw or heard gambling adverts. The survey covered 3,453 minors and was conducted through online self-completion surveys in schools between February and July.
This decline in exposure aligns with the Gambling Commission’s ongoing efforts to protect minors from gambling-related harm. The survey also noted a decrease in the percentage of respondents who spent money on gambling, with a drop from 31% in 2022 to 26% this year.
These findings underscore the importance of the Gambling Commission’s commitment to safeguarding young people and its proactive role in shaping the UK’s gambling regulatory landscape.
Online and Offline Ad Exposure: The survey found that 55% of respondents had seen online gambling ads, while 53% encountered offline ads, marking a decrease from the previous year’s figures of 66% and 63%, respectively.
Shift in Gambling Participation Among Minors: The number of minors engaging in gambling activities has decreased, with only 4% spending money on age-restricted regulated gambling, a decline from 5% in 2022. The majority of gambling activities were on legal platforms like arcade machines.
Reduced Risk of Problem Gambling: The proportion of respondents identified as being at risk of problem gambling has fallen from 2.4% to 1.5%, with most minors gambling for fun.
Gambling Commission’s Regulatory Approach: The Commission emphasizes the requirement for operators to have robust protections against illegal access by minors, reflecting their focus on legal gambling activities that do not feature age-restricted products.
Future Consultations on Gambling Regulations: The Gambling Commission has outlined plans for further consultations into 2024, covering a range of topics related to responsible gaming, financial contributions for research and treatment, and regulatory data reporting.
Tim Miller’s Statement: Tim Miller, the executive director for policy development at the Gambling Commission, highlighted upcoming consultations addressing various aspects of socially responsible gambling, emphasizing the Commission’s dedication to evolving and strengthening the UK’s gambling regulatory framework.
The UK Gambling Commission’s recent survey results mark a positive shift in the gambling landscape, with a significant reduction in minors’ exposure to gambling advertisements and a decline in their participation in gambling activities. These findings reflect the effectiveness of current regulatory measures and the Commission’s commitment to enhancing protections for young people. As the Commission continues its consultations and policy development, it remains at the forefront of promoting a safer, more responsible gambling environment in the UK.