The 2023 Young People and Gambling Report, released by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), has revealed that 26% of 11-17 year-olds have spent their own money on gambling in the past year. The annual study, which traditionally surveys children between the ages of 11-16, expanded this year to include 17 year-olds who are still in the education system.
The report highlighted several key findings, including a decrease in the percentage of young people spending money on gambling compared to the previous year. Additionally, the study found a decline in the number of children spending money on age-restricted gambling products, as well as a decrease in the prevalence of problem gambling and at-risk gambling among surveyed individuals.
The survey also reported that 55% of children had seen gambling ads offline, while 53% had seen them online, reflecting a decrease from the previous year’s figures. The majority of gambling spend by children was on products that are not age-restricted in the UK, such as arcade gaming machines, betting among family and friends, and gambling during card games with family and friends.
In response to these findings, the UKGC announced that measures would be implemented to ensure that children cannot access gambling in any form. These reforms, which are part of the UK Gambling White Paper, will include more restrictions on age verification test purchasing for small gambling premises and amendments to the good practice code to check the age of any customer who appears to be under 25 years of age.
The report also highlighted the prevalence of problem gambling among the 16-24 year old age bracket, with 1% of gamblers in this age group reporting issues. These findings confirm the need for stricter regulations to protect young people from the harmful effects of gambling.
Overall, the 2023 Young People and Gambling Report provides valuable insights into the gambling habits and exposure to gambling ads among young people in the UK. As the government works to implement reforms to address these issues, it is crucial to prioritize the protection of children and adolescents from the potential harms of gambling.