Almost half of Britons gamble, report finds

More than two thirds think it can damage family life


Almost half of people in Britain gamble but more than two thirds believe it is dangerous for family life, according to a report.

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Some 48% of Britons have gambled in the past four weeks - a 3% increase on 2015 - although this figure drops to 33% when it excludes those who have only played the National Lottery, the Gambling Commission study found.

Some 53% of men have gambled, up from 50% in 2015, and 44% of women, up from 41%.

The use of mobile phones or tablet devices to gamble has increased by 10% since 2015 to 43%, and 68% of 18 to 24-year-olds have been prompted to gamble by adverts and posts on social media.

Gambling on gaming machines in bookmakers has remained stable at 1.5%.

Among those who have gambled in the past 12 months, 0.7% were identified as problem gamblers, up from 0.5% in 2015, and 5.5% identified as at-risk gamblers.

The poll also found 67% of respondents think people should have the right to gamble whenever they want, but 69% believe gambling is dangerous for family life and 78% feel there are now too many opportunities to gamble.

Gambling Commission programme director James Green said: "This report paints an important picture of how consumers in Britain choose to gamble - identifying emerging trends and potential risks to the public.

"We are also now able to provide a more detailed snapshot of online behaviours, which featured for the first time last year.

"Effective protections come from strong evidence. Our research puts us in a powerful position to better understand the needs of gambling consumers."

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