…By Henry George for TDPel Media.
New figures from the Health Survey for England indicate that approximately one in five individuals who gamble online are either experiencing gambling-related problems or are at risk.
These statistics shed light on the prevalence of gambling issues among young adults and provide insights into the gambling behavior of individuals aged 16 and above.
Gambling Problems and Risky Behavior
The survey reveals that 5.8% of individuals engaging in any form of gambling experience gambling problems or are classified as “at-risk” gamblers.
However, this percentage increases to 7.9% when excluding the National Lottery and rises to a significant 18.2% among those participating in online gambling, excluding lotteries.
These figures, based on data from individuals who gambled in the previous 12 months as of 2021, suggest that the actual prevalence of gambling harm might be higher than previously estimated.
The findings indicate a concerning trend of gambling-related issues among online gamblers, especially when compared to individuals participating in other forms of gambling.
The higher prevalence of gambling problems among online gamblers underscores the need for increased awareness and support for individuals who engage in online betting activities.
Comparison with Previous Estimates
A previous gambling evidence review, published by the government in January, utilized data from the pre-Covid Health Survey for England and other sources.
This review estimated that 0.5% of adults faced gambling-related problems, consistent with the latest survey findings.
Furthermore, the review estimated that 3.8% of adults were engaging in gambling at risky levels.
Overall Gambling Participation
The newly published data also indicates that one in ten adults gambled online (excluding the National Lottery and other lotteries) in the past year.
Additionally, half of all adults participated in some form of gambling.
Among age groups, 39% of individuals aged 16 to 34 reported gambling in the past year, compared to 53% of those aged 35 to 44, 61% of those aged 45 to 54, and 56% of those aged 55 to 64.
The percentage decreased to 53% among individuals aged 65 to 74 and 45% among those aged 75 and above.
Analysis: The data highlights a higher prevalence of gambling participation among younger adults.
This underscores the importance of targeted interventions and educational campaigns aimed at raising awareness about responsible gambling practices among this age group.
Age-Based Gambling Patterns
The survey reveals that 18% of 16 to 34-year-olds have placed bets, the highest percentage among any age group.
The second-highest percentage, 16%, was reported among individuals aged 45 to 54.
Similarly, online betting follows a similar pattern, with 12% of 16 to 34-year-olds and 10% of 45 to 54-year-olds engaging in this activity.
In contrast, the participation in lotteries and related products is lowest among 16 to 34-year-olds (30%) and highest among 45 to 54-year-olds (56%).
For instance, 22% of 16 to 34-year-olds play the National Lottery, while 47% of 45 to 54-year-olds engage in this activity.
Additional Gambling Behaviors
The survey also found that 13% of adults enjoy betting, with 8% participating in online betting with bookmakers and 5% betting on horse racing through bookmakers, by phone, or at the track.
Furthermore, 4% of adults engage in private betting or gambling with friends, family, or colleagues.
Loneliness and General Health
The report highlights the relationship between health and loneliness.
Among adults who reported bad or very bad health, 62% stated that they felt lonely at least some of the time.
In contrast, only 18% of individuals in good or very good health reported experiencing loneliness.
While 77% of adults reported good or very good general health, 70% of men and 59% of women met the NHS recommendations for weekly exercise of at least 150 minutes of moderate activity.
The Health Survey for England presents significant findings regarding the prevalence of gambling problems and risky gambling behavior, particularly among online gamblers.
The data emphasizes the need for targeted interventions to address gambling-related harm, especially among young adults.
Additionally, the survey’s insights into the relationship between health and loneliness provide valuable information for public health initiatives aiming to improve overall well-being.