As the UK Government is reviewing the 2005 Gambling Act, different bodies are looking for further information on gambling-related harm among the UK society. New research projects concentrate on revealing more information on the risk of gambling problems among different communities that include minorities, females, and children.
At the end of last week, the independent charity GambleAware proposed two different research campaigns that will concentrate on evaluating the gambling harm caused in female and minority groups.
GambleAware to Launch a Research on Gambling Harm Among Females and Ethnic Groups
GambleAware, the independent charity that focuses on ensuring a safe gambling environment, decided to fund two research programmes, with each one of them receiving £250,000. The two projects will concentrate on investigating the gambling harm in minority groups and female gamblers.
As a response to the current review of the 2005 Gambling Act, Gamble Aware noted that there is not enough evidence to show the true negative impact of gambling on ethnic groups and females in the UK. According to the latest research, minority groups are less likely to seek help by contacting treatment services than white communities.
Another concerning evidence shows that the number of female gamblers who are experiencing gambling-related problems is increasing rapidly, surpassing the rate of men with gambling-related issues. The reasons for this tendency, however, are unclear due to the insufficient research on this topic.
Last year, the results from the Treatment Need and Gap Analysis revealed that female gamblers were three times more likely to point to practical barriers as the main reason for not seeking treatment or support. The same research also pointed out that individuals who belong to the Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups were less likely to participate in gambling activities but had a higher rate of problem gambling.
These results prompted GambleAware to call for UK authorities to pay more attention to gamblers from the BAME, female, and young adults communities and offer better sources of help to them and individuals from the lower socioeconomic background.
To be able to form proper research programmes, GambleAware is seeking bids from consortia as well as multidisciplinary teams. The independent charity is hoping that the bids that will win the right to conduct the projects will resort to different methods and tools to achieve the anticipated results from the research programmes.
The data collected from the two research projects will be used by GambleAware to gather further information that will be used for its policy making practices and regulations. The reason why the company is seeking more details on such issues is to improve the UK National Strategy on combating gambling-related harm and ensuring better help for vulnerable individuals from different communities.
The two research projects will have different ‘engagement days’, during which GambleAware will present its goals for the upcoming research programmes. The Woman and gambling research programme will be covered on Wednesday 5 May, between 2 pm and 3:15 pm. Meanwhile, the event for the Minority communities and gambling research programmes will be held on Wednesday 12 May, between 2 pm and 3:15 pm.
Parties who are interested in these projects and want to participate in GambleAware’s programmes can send their submissions until Monday 7th June.
A Survey Shows Four-Year-Olds Tend to Spend Real Money in Apps and Online Games
Another survey that raised some concerns showed that children as young as four spend money online on games that are supposed to be safe for children. The survey was conducted on 2,000 parents, with 12% of them reporting that their preschool children spend money online in games.
Often free games that are advertised as safe for such young children tend to include different methods to prompt young players to spend money in the game. Such games require payments to unlock new levels or improve the performance of an in-game character. Since children are often playing on parental devices, they can easily agree on the payments required in such games.
About 43% of the parents who participated in the survey shared their concerns about their children spending money in online games and apps. Many of them were also worried about their children being induced to participate in gambling via loot boxes offered in such games. About 38% of respondents shared concerns about their children participating in gambling activities on online websites or in games and apps.
In response to the concerns that many of the surveyed parents shared, Internet Matters launched a new division that would help parents deal with issues such as their children handling money online. Internet Matters is a company that helps parents to ensure a safer online environment for their children, with in-game spendings being one of the main concerns of the body.