Latest UK Gambling Commission Study Shows Teen Gambling Rates Down

Posted on: November 17, 2023, 06:50h. 

Last updated on: November 18, 2023, 01:56h.

An annual study by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) on youth gambling shows a decrease in teen participation in gambling.

The Tower Bridge in London at night
The Tower Bridge in London at night. A new study shows that teen gambling in the country is declining. (Image: Shutterstock)

The paper’s findings indicate that 26% of 11–17-year-olds used funds on gambling this year. This figure was 31% in 2022. Just 4% of children allocated their funds toward age-restricted gambling products, down one percent from last year.

Less than 1% (0.7% ) self-identified as problem gamblers, down from the 0.9% documented in 2022. The UK’s problem gambling rate across all segments hovers around 0.2%.

Other key findings include that 16-year-olds emerged with the highest gambling rate at 26.9%; 12-year-olds took the lead in the at-risk category, with 2.3% falling into this bracket. But just 1.9% of 13-year-olds indicate they have problem gambling tendencies 

The recently disclosed 2023 Young People and Gambling Report from the UKGC looks at the spending behaviors of 11-17-year-olds. This comprehensive report, traditionally centered on adolescents from 11-16, but included 17-year-olds this year.

The study is based on information from the Ipsos Young People Omnibus, annual research that explores a variety of topics. School-aged adolescents are surveyed on everything from social media use to politics to gambling.

White Paper Proposes Youth-Targeted Reforms

The ongoing white paper discussions on gambling reform are poised to instigate transformative changes within the industry. These proposed reforms and measures aim to establish more stringent restrictions to prevent children from gambling.

These include the removal of existing exemptions from age verification tests. An amendment to the “good practice code” is set to mandate licensees to verify the age of any customer who appears to be under 25 years of age. This is a jump from the current threshold of 21.

The UK’s gaming regulator continues to discuss the white paper and its proposed reforms with industry players. Discussions about free bets and bonuses, as well as fines for violations of the bonus rules are slated for the table next.

The UKGC is looking to increase the fines so that “the costs of noncompliance outweigh the costs of compliance,” according to Executive Director of Policy and Research Tim Miller.

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