Report highlights gambling problems among young men in UK

15 March 2017

A quarter of men aged between 18 and 24 in the UK have a gambling problem of varying degrees of severity, according to a new study by the University of Bristol.

The Times newspaper reports that researchers polled over 1,000 patients in 11 GP waiting rooms across Bristol and found that one in 20 people had a gambling problem, while five of those having a severe problem.

Participants were ranked using the problem gambling severity index, which asks a range of questions such as whether their gambling habits have made them feel guilty or caused health or financial problems.

Those that answered yes to at least one question were identified has having some form of problem, while those that scored five or more are classed as having a severe problem.

Sean Cowlishaw, from the university’s Centre for Academic Primary Care, who conducted the study, said: “We are seeing the first generation who have grown up with high levels of gambling exposure normalised.

“We are talking about advertising constantly, online gambling, on smartphones as well, and betting shops clustered on high streets with electronic gambling machines.”

Marc Etches, chief executive of charity Gambleaware charity, added: “Gambling harms can easily go unnoticed; simple steps to help start conversations include GPs asking the right questions or having posters in their surgeries.”

Related article: GambleAware appoints new trustees