UKGC Reports Decrease In Gambling Activity Amongst 11-16 Year-olds

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has noticed a decrease in gambling activity among 11-16-year-olds in Great Britain after publishing the results of its 2019 Young People & Gambling study.

The survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI, explores types of gambling and gambling style games in which young people are legally active along with gambling on goods that are limited in age.

The report found that 11% of those surveyed had played with their own money in the past seven days, compared to 14% in 2018.

Tim Miller, Executive Director of the UKGC commented on the report: “This report demonstrates that children and young people’s interaction with gambling or gambling behaviours comes from three sources – gambling that they are legally allowed to participate in, gambling on age restricted products and gambling style games.

“Any child or young person that experiences harm from these areas is a concern to us and we are absolutely committed to doing everything we can to protect them from gambling harms.

“Most of the gambling covered by this report takes place in ways which the law permits, but we must keep working to prevent children and young people from having access to age restricted products.

“There operators have failed to protect children and young people we have and will continue to take firm action.  This year alone, we have tightened rules and requirements around age verification to prevent children and young people from accessing age restricted products, put free-to-play games behind paywalls, and clamped down on irresponsible products.”

The UKGC report found that young people were most likely to participate in private gambling for cash (usually with friends), with 5% engaging in the event. In the meantime about 3 million are playing cards for cash with family.

69% of respondents had seen or heard gambling ads or sponsorship deals, while 83% said they had not been influenced by such agreements.

Miller continued: ““We have been raising awareness about where risks may arise from gambling-style games such as loot boxes and social casino games for some time.  Even though we don’t have regulatory control in this area we are actively engaging with the games industry and social media platforms to look at ways to protect children and young people.

“Protecting children and young people from gambling harms is a collective responsibility and requires us, other regulators, the government, gambling operators, charities, teachers and parents to work together to make progress.”