Research commissioned by GambleAware has found that people from minority communities with gambling problems are 50% more likely to have experienced racism or discrimination in public. The study, conducted by Ipsos UK and ClearView Research with the support of the University of Manchester, focused on the potential links between problem gambling and discrimination.
The research included responses from 2,999 individuals, of which 1,779 were white British people and 1,220 were from minority communities. It was found that those from minority communities who experienced problem gambling were more likely to have been subjected to discrimination in public compared to those without gambling issues.
The study also revealed that there were concerns about the use of gambling as a “coping mechanism,” with 18% of people from minority backgrounds who gamble being three times more likely to make this link, compared to only 6% of white British people who gamble.
In addition to the relationship between problem gambling and discrimination, the study also examined the barriers to seeking help for gambling issues. It found that people from minority communities were less likely to discuss their gambling habits with family and friends, support service providers, or healthcare providers. This lack of trust in healthcare providers and support services was attributed to previous experiences of racism and discrimination when seeking healthcare.
Furthermore, the research flagged a lack of awareness in minority communities about where to access gambling support, as well as concerns about being disproportionately influenced by gambling marketing and advertising due to limited understanding about the risks of gambling.
GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond stressed the importance of seeking help for gambling issues and encouraged those experiencing such problems to contact GambleAware for confidential guidance and support. She emphasized that gambling harms can be more common and damaging in communities facing social inequality, such as minority groups, and highlighted the availability of confidential and tailored support through the National Gambling Support Network.
In response to the findings, GambleAware will be opening a new funding programme to address the issues identified in the research. This funding aims to reduce the inequality of gambling harm for women and people from minority ethnic and religious communities.
The report also referenced GambleAware’s annual statistics, which reported that 6,645 people contacted the National Gambling Treatment Service (NGTS) over a 12-month period. Of those who accessed treatment, 38% were for online slots, while internet sports betting, fixed-odds gaming machines in bookmaker shops, sports betting, and gaming machines in bookmakers accounted for varying percentages of treatment access.