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Gamble Aware: Minority groups more likely to suffer gambling harms

| By Zak Thomas-Akoo
New research commissioned by GambleAware and conducted by Ipsos UK and ClearView Research, has found that minority groups are more likely to suffer harms from gambling than the white British majority.

GambleAware noted the gambling participation rate for minority groups was 31%, lower than that of white British people, of whom 48% participate in some form of gambling.

However, its research found 42% of gamblers from minority backgrounds suffered some form of gambling harms, compared to 20% of white British gamblers.

Minorities are three times more likely to use gambling as a “coping mechanism, in response to challenges and difficulties in life”, at 18%, compared to 6% of white British people.

Those from minority groups are more likely than white British people to say that they would like to limit their gambling activities but are finding it hard to do so, at 9% compared to the 1% of white British people who responded.

People from these backgrounds are also slightly less likely to feel comfortable seeking formal support for their gambling, at 58%, as opposed to the 61% stated by white British people.

Chief executive Zoë Osmond said GambleAware was committed to building knowledge about the lived experience of minority groups and gambling harms, as well as the drivers of harms experienced by these communities.

“The higher prevalence of gambling harms among minority groups, coupled with the fact they are less likely to access specialist gambling services, is alarming and demonstrates the clear need for further investigation and tailored solutions,” she said.

“We need to break down the barriers to accessing support and challenge the stigma and discrimination faced by these communities.”

Structural factors

GambleAware said that the findings highlight a host of structural factors that have been shown to correlate with higher levels of gambling harm, such as income, social inequality and discrimination.  

The research defined minority groups as people identifying as a member of an ethnic or religious minority group or those from a migrant community who may not speak English as a first language.

The survey also determined “any gambling harms” as those who scored 1 or more on a Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) assessment.

“While further research is needed to establish what drives higher burdens of gambling harms in minority communities, these results clearly highlight that members of these communities are facing increased vulnerabilities and are more at risk of suffering from gambling harms,” said Niamh McGarry, director of impact at ClearView, and a contributor to the report.

“Services must be designed with the voice of minority communities centred throughout, and this research helps demonstrate that specific attention and specialised support is needed to effectively address these inequalities.”

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