Data from GamCare, an organization that provides support for problem gambling, reveals that three out of five online gamblers seeking help in the UK last year identified online slots as a source of their concerns. This data was collected from GamCare's National Gambling Helpline and shows that online slots remain the most commonly cited activity by those seeking assistance for problem gambling behaviors.
During the 2022-23 period, approximately 60% of individuals who contacted the helpline mentioned that slots were a primary activity causing concern. This figure increased by one percentage point compared to the previous year and is nearly double the 34% who mentioned online slots in 2018-19.
The data is based on information from 5,660 people who contacted the helpline in 2022-23 and disclosed the type of gambling activity they were struggling with. Of those, 73% indicated concerns related to online gambling.
The UK government is currently consulting on the introduction of maximum stake limits for online slots as part of its review of the Gambling Act 2005. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has requested evidence before a deadline of October 4, 2023, as it considers stake limits ranging from £2 to £15 per spin and slot-specific measures to enhance protections.
Colin Walsh, Lived Experience Manager at GamCare, noted, "There is still a perception that gambling harm predominantly comes from betting on horses or sports events. In the past five years, we have broadly seen a trend where people often start gambling on these activities but eventually transition into other areas of online gambling, where it can be easy to lose sight of how much time and money is being spent."
Online sports betting accounted for 20% of those seeking help, while other casino games represented 15%, slightly up from the previous year but significantly down from the 39% recorded four years ago.
Walsh emphasized that the data highlights online slots as the primary challenge for many individuals seeking assistance from the National Gambling Helpline and highlighted the importance of seeking help when struggling with such forms of gambling.
By fLEXI tEAM