Why It’s Important to Start Addressing the Issue of Problem Gambling

By  //  November 23, 2020

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With millions of people around the world participating in gambling activities, it’s more important than ever for players to gamble responsibly. Given that people have also been spending more time at home during Covid-19 lockdowns this year, many players might be more vulnerable at the moment.

With gambling becoming more easily accessible for players and with celebrities even endorsing casino operators, these are just some important reasons why problem gambling needs to be efficiently addressed.

What are the top reasons for gambling?

Data obtained from the UK Gambling Commission indicates that people gamble for various reasons. Statistics show that players don’t always just gamble to win.

Some of the main reasons why people gamble is to:

Earn money to enable them to get by daily

Gambling to win

As a socialization mechanism

For enjoyment or fun

As an interest or hobby

To win big, e.g. the jackpot

While some gamblers may gamble on a casual basis, or know when it’s time to stop, sometimes gambling habits can get out of hand and other players might find it difficult to stop. When gambling becomes a problem for players, it can significantly impact their daily lives. Gambling debt can impact people’s employment, relationships, and their savings.

With the growing issue of problem gambling, it’s important to also acknowledge how gambling can have an effect on people’s health, both physically and mentally. Low self-esteem, feeling anxious, having difficulty sleeping, and experiencing extreme emotions, can all be effects of problem gambling.

What factors influence people to gamble?

According to The Pogg’s guide on Safer Gambling: Addressing The Issue Of Problem Gambling, data shows that easy accessibility, advertising, and celebrity endorsements can all have a big impact on influencing gamblers.

1. Accessibility

Increased access to smartphones and other handheld devices has contributed to an upsurge in the number of mobile gamblers. UKGC statistics indicate that a large number of people gamble not only from their own homes but other locations too.

While over 95% gamble at home, many still gamble while commuting or while they are at work. The Responsible Gambling Council provides advice on how to notice when gambling becomes a problem. Thinking about gambling more than usual and neglecting other responsibilities, such as work and family life, in order to gamble are just some warning signs.

2. Celebrity Endorsements

In today’s modern society, celebrities are seen endorsing many different types of products and services online, more so through the use of popular social networking platforms like Instagram. In the past decade, celebrities have lent their names to luxury watches, shampoos, clothing brands, and designer perfumes and colognes.

Last year, Harry Redknapp, a footballing guru and national treasure, became a brand ambassador for an online betting site known as BetVictor. According to research conducted into the impact of gambling advertisements, adverts that include celeb endorsements:

Result in positive attitudes for the brand in question

Make the advertisements become more believable

Enhances message recall

Improves brand recognition

While this is advantageous for betting sites and casino operators, it does pose a problem for the younger generation and problem gamblers.

3. Advertisements

As well as celebrity endorsements, general gambling advertisements majorly influence the public. With the growing number of users on social media, the public consumes information and adverts online every single day.

For vulnerable people such as children and problem gamblers, being bombarded by gambling advertisements could have a negative impact.

According to a report by Ipsos earlier this year, exposure to gambling advertising among 11-24-year-olds was quite high. While television played the biggest part in gambling advert exposure, social media and the high street also played a significant role.

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