Just under 1% of the population in the UK have been identified as ‘problem gamblers’ with a further 4% identified as being of low to moderate risk of problem gambling.
Given the size and make-up of Birmingham’s population, a new report from CHASM estimates that the number of problem gamblers in Birmingham is around 12,000, with a further 48,000 ‘at risk’ of problem gambling.
CHASM core member Professor Karen Rowlingson worked with Carl Packman from Toynbee Hall to carry out a rapid assessment review of problem gambling in Birmingham, in consultation with key stakeholders in Birmingham City Council, the England Illegal Moneylending Team and the Gambling Commission. Our report reviews the existing evidence around the extent and nature of gambling in the UK generally and in Birmingham in particular. It also reviews recent policy change in this field and recommends next steps for further action and research.
We found that certain groups are more likely to experience problems with gambling including those on lower incomes or unemployed, those from Asian/Asian British and Black British backgrounds, homeless people and prisoners. There is also a strong correlation between problem gambling and mental health problems. Those who are at risk of problem gambling are similar, in some respects, to the groups most at risk of financial exclusion. The socio-economic profile of Birmingham, in terms of low income and ethnicity in particular, suggests that rates of problem gambling may be higher here than the national average.