GambleAware to open a new £4.3m funding programme to tackle burdens of gambling harm

Responsible Gambling

GambleAware, the leading charity commissioning gambling harm prevention and treatment services in Great Britain, has today published research focusing on the experiences of gambling harms among people from minority communities in Great Britain.

The study by Ipsos UK and ClearView Research, supported by the University of Manchester, has confirmed the role that stigma and discrimination can play not just in driving harms, but also in preventing people accessing help and support.

The report shows that people from Minority communities who have any kind of gambling problem.2 are 50% more likely to have experienced racism or discrimination in public, compared to those who do not have a gambling issue (48% vs. 32%).

Some participants in the qualitative research described a link between their experiences of discrimination and racism, and susceptibility to gambling harms. These participants pointed to the role of racism and discrimination in exacerbating gambling behaviour, including feelings of social exclusion, reduced employment opportunities and heightened risk of mental health issues.

The report also shows that people from Minority backgrounds who gambled are three times more likely to say their gambling is a ‘coping mechanism’ to deal with challenges in their life, compared to White British people who gamble (18% vs. 6%).

Participants in the qualitative study also identified many barriers stopping them seeking support for their gambling, some of which were because they were members of a Minority community. People from Minority communities were less likely than people from the White British majority group to say they would feel comfortable talking to friends and family if they were worried about their gambling,3 and also less likely to say they would feel comfortable talking to a gambling support service provider4or a healthcare provider.

There was also a relative lack of awareness in Minority communities of where gambling support was available, and some even had a lack of trust in healthcare providers and support services due to previous experiences of racism and discrimination they had faced when seeking healthcare. 

Some participants in the study also said they felt they and others from Minority groups could be disproportionately influenced by gambling marketing and advertising. They noted that having limited understanding about the risks involved in gambling could have made them more susceptible to the gambling marketing and advertising they saw.

Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, said: “Gambling harms can affect anyone, but they can be more common and more damaging in communities that face social inequality – such as these minority groups. Fortunately, help is out there. The National Gambling Support Network offers confidential, tailored support for people from all backgrounds. It also does a lot of community outreach to raise awareness and increase early intervention, so that people from all backgrounds know where to turn and can get help before gambling problems turn into an addiction.”

Daniel Cameron, Research Director at Ipsos, said: “The findings from this study increase our knowledge of why people from Minority communities may experience gambling harm. The study shows that the unique experiences individuals from Minority communities face in their everyday lives can exacerbate the drivers of gambling behaviour and increase the likelihood of facing gambling harms.”
Anna Hargrave, GambleAware Chief Commissioning Officer, said: “Our new funding programme is a response to research which demonstrated that both women and people from minority ethnic and religious communities face additional burdens of gambling harm as well as barriers in accessing services which meet their needs. Through the fund we will aim to reduce the inequality of experience of gambling harm for women and people from minority religious and ethnic communities.”