Almost a third of children in the United Kingdom have gambled with their money over the course of the course of the last year. That’s the main finding from the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) recently released report titled, Young People and Gambling Report.
The report, which was produced by a firm called Ipsos, was once a mainstay of the UKGC’s efforts to curb problem gambling, but had been on hiatus over the course of the pandemic. Drawing from the results of surveys filled out by 2,559 UK children between the ages of 11 and 16, the report is generally viewed as a snapshot of the world of youth gambling.
The most eye-popping stat from the survey is that one in three children have gambled with their own money sometime during the last year. That stat gets a little less eye-popping when it’s revealed that, in this context, gambling includes claw grab machines and arcade penny pushing games.
More seriously, the survey did find that approximately .9 percent of UK youth who did gamble were identified as problem gamblers in a clinical sense. Another 2.4 percent of respondents were identified as at-risk gamblers.
One bright spot from the survey is that the number of UK children who are accessing regulated gaming sites is actually pretty low. Amongst those who did access regulated gaming, sports betting and the National Lottery were the most common forms accessed. Oddly, among those who did engage in sports betting, most of those bets were for e-sports.
Given the circumstances of living in 2022 and having gone through the pandemic, the youth of England appear to be in pretty good shape. A representative for the UKGC acknowledged this fact saying, “In this year’s survey, whilst the headline data around regulated age-restricted products is encouraging, there is clearly a group who still struggle with gambling.”