The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has praised a decrease in the rates of problem gambling in the year to March 2022.
Referencing new figures from the UK Gambling Commission, the BGC reported that the rates of problem gambling fell to 0.2% in the year to March 2022.
The Gambling Commission’s statistics show that problem gambling rates are down from 0.4% the previous year and down from 0.3% in the last published annualised figures in February 2022.
Meanwhile, the BGC confirms that the problem gambling rates among women have stayed steady and low at 0.1%.
The Betting and Gaming Council also notes in its press release that the UK Gambling Commission’s figures represent an equivalent drop in problem gamblers from 225,000 to 113,000.
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said of the statistics: “These newly released figures are further evidence of that positive progress and underline our calls for ministers to take a genuinely evidence-based approach to the upcoming White Paper and not pander to the anti-gambling lobby.
“Our initiatives have included using advertising to promote safer gambling tools like deposit limits and time-outs, investing more in research and treatment, changes to advertising, stronger protections for younger people and introducing tough new rules on VIP schemes.”
He continued: “It also underlines the success of an increase in voluntary funding by the betting and gaming industry to support independent charities in delivering research, education and treatment (RET) for problem gamblers.”
Dugher then argued that a statutory levy wouldn’t help fund RET but could instead damage parts of the gambling industry, like land-based casinos who have just begun recovering from the pandemic.
After highlighting how the majority of gamblers play without issue, Dugher ended the statement by saying: “The regulated betting and gaming industry is determined to promote safer gambling, unlike the unsafe, unregulated and growing online black market, which has none of the safeguards which are the norm among BGC members.
“Ministers should not drive customers into the arms of the black market by introducing intrusive personal checks for non-problem gamblers and those not at risk, or by taking away the offers that punters in a highly competitive market enjoy.”
The news comes weeks after the Gambling Commission announced new rules to protect at-risk customers, requiring mobile casino operators to do more to identify and take action to protect those at risk of developing a gambling addiction.
It also comes after the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) announced new rules banning celebrities and other influential figures from appearing in gambling ads from October 2022.