The UK Casino Gambling body released a gaming behavior report last week and the media went wild. It was not a good week for gamblers in the UK after the Gambling Commission released a report that indicated the rise in gambling problem in the country in recent years. According to the report dubbed Gambling Behavior In GB, noted that gambling problem has increased by 0.2%. Various media house throughout the UK has in the past week show that the number of people that are either affected or have relatives affected by problem gambling has risen.
The Guardian, for instance, reported that More than 2 million UK Casino players are either problem gamblers or at risk of addiction. However, after that shocking news, the newspaper went ahead to say that the actual figure of those that are affected is not all that significant as the percentage shown.
In fact, the paper stated that out of 54 million people aged above 16 years, about 430, 000 people are directly affected by problem gambling.
The Sun did not go into details to expound on the exact figure of those that are directly affected by the problem in the article More than two million Brits have a problem with gambling from www.thesun.co.uk. They chose to maintain with the same message on the headline that said ‘More Than 2 Million People in UK May Be Problem Gamblers’.
Do More Than 2 Million People in the UK Have Gambling Problems
According to many observers, and opinion makers, UK media failed to point out that the United Kingdom Gambling Commission considers problem gambling rates to be ‘statistically stable’ and that the percentage of people who are currently at the risk of the ‘vice’ is not as it has been in the past. While the media has been castigated for what people called tainting gambling, a legitimate business and a stable source of revenue to the government, there are those who say that the issue needs to be addressed with an open mind.
In 2012, when the UKGC surveyed people aged over 16 years that engaged in one way or another in gambling activities found out that the percentage of those affected by problem gambling was only 0.6 percent. Three years later in 2015, the overall proportion of those that were affected by problem gambling had risen to 0.8 percent.
Of course, there is no need to castigate the media for reporting exactly what the UKGC analysis found out. It is not right to judge the media as going overboard because the difference in percentage from the first survey that was conducted in 2012 and the one that was done in 2015 is a 0.2 percent increment.
However, UKGC says that when you compare the United Kingdom and other countries where gambling is a huge business, and the casino industry is vibrant, problem gambling rates are relatively small. Perhaps that is why the UKGC is not happy that the media had to report on the 0.2 percent rise in problem gambling thus throwing ‘huge’ stones to casino investors on the impact of future gaming investment in a country where the casino industry is said to be mature.