GambleAware flags disproportionate gambling harm impact on BAME communities

| By Robert Fletcher
British responsible gambling charity GambleAware has said more investment in problem gambling treatment and support services is required to address what it described as a disproportionate impact of gambling harm on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) adults.

Carried out in partnership with YouGov, a GambleAware study of 15,162 British adults found that one in five BAME adults experienced some form of problem gambling, with 7% classified as problem gamblers.

In contrast, only 12% of white adults reported having problems with gambling, and just 2% were identified as problem gamblers.

Other key findings from the research included that 74% of problem gamblers from BAME communities said that they would consider accessing treatment, compared to 49% of white problem gamblers.

The study also identified a higher level of treatment usage within minority ethnic communities, with 71% of BAME problem gamblers having used some form of treatment, support and advice, compared to 49% of white problem gamblers.

However, GambleAware noted that data from the 2019/20 National Gambling Treatment Service does not reflect the higher levels of demand and reported in the YouGov survey.

When considered together, GambleAware said this suggests substantial numbers of BAME problem gamblers access other support outside the National Gambling Treatment Service

As such, GambleAware said it will commissioning new research in 2021 to build knowledge of the lived experience of gambling harms within different BAME communities, including treatment and support needs and preferences. This will be used to inform additional investment in treatment services.

“The prevalence of high levels of gambling harms among minority ethnic communities, coupled with the significant demand for access to treatment, support, and advice demonstrates the clear need to further strengthen and improve the existing provisions on offer,” GambleAware chief executive Marc Etches said.

“Services must be flexible, meet the varying needs of individuals and it is vital they are easy to access for all minority groups. This will require active engagement with communities on the ground to understand their lived experiences, and to design services in accordance with these.”

YouGov research director Briony Gunstone added: “This research shines a light on the disproportionate impact of gambling harms on BAME communities. It also indicates a particularly high demand for treatment, support, and advice, tailored to these affected groups.

“The survey highlighted that increased awareness of support would motivate at risk gamblers to seek assistance. It is vital, therefore, to highlight the range of different services available, including telephone helplines such as the National Gambling Helpline, to make accessing treatment, advice, and support easier for gamblers from a minority ethnic background.”

Publication of the report comes after GambleAware last month commissioned its second Annual GB Treatment and Support Demand Survey to determine the barriers, take up and demand for treatment and support for gambling harms in Great Britain.

GambleAware said the survey, which will be conducted by YouGov, will cover findings by key demographics such as age, gender, ethnicity and geography, allowing it to highlight any key differences amongst certain groups.

In October, GambleAware also revealed the multi-level setup of its treatment and support system has led to significant knowledge gaps, while its organic growth has resulted in the lack of a defined strategy.

The study, conducted by Leeds Beckett University, found the multi-level nature funded treatment system meant not all components have a direct connection with one another.

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