NIESR study uncovers higher UK problem gambling rates
A recent NIESR study showed that the problem gambling rate in the UK is at 0.7%.
The study, which was funded by the Gambling Commission and conducted by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), has found that the problem gambling rate in the United Kingdom is higher than what the regulator reported a bit over a month ago at 0.7%.
Additionally, the institute also calculated the estimated impact of such gambling problems. The approximately 380 thousand problem gamblers of the ages of 16 and over result in a combined financial impact of about 1.4 billion Pounds per year.
This translates to a cost of 3700 Pounds per problem gambler every year, which comes from increased welfare and healthcare costs, as well as from the costs associated with homelessness.
However, the study mentioned that the institute was not able to calculate the impact of a number of external factors driven by gambling problems which can affect people close to problem gamblers, such as debt, relationship deterioration, and suicide, meaning that the actual financial impact is likely higher than the quoted figure.
The institute made a few recommendations on several reforms based on its experience throughout the study, with the first one being the recognition of these financial burdens in the upcoming gambling white papers.
The organization also recommended a more widespread data collection effort to determine the impact on those close to problem gamblers, as a more thorough investigation into this area is paramount to get a more complete picture of the total costs of gambling problems.
Lastly, the study also covered the economic benefits of the gambling industry. The institute mentioned that in addition to a yearly tax contribution of around 3.5 billion Pounds, the wagering and gambling pastimes have many other benefits, such as increased happiness and an increase in gamblers’ risk tolerance, which may help them in endeavors such as starting a business.