As problem gambling and protection of vulnerable individuals and children is an important issue for the UK government and the regulatory bodies in the country, regular studies provide data to help tackle problem gambling in the UK. Last week, a new study showed that a concerning number of gambling ads online lure children into potentially harmful gambling activities.
Another study published by the UK Gambling Commission revealed that 25% of adults in the UK are regularly participating in some form of gambling. While the data showed a decline in gambling participation, experts were still concerned about the real number of British people who are regularly gambling and may be at risk of developing a gambling addiction.
Last week it also became clear that UK gambling companies will need to adapt to a new way of taxation starting April 1, 2022. While the 2021 Finance Act imposed certain minimum limits for the income of casino companies, determining the rate of the taxes they are required to pay, a new amendment to the law will raise the earnings minimums.
Study Reveals Children Are More Attracted to Gambling Ads Than Adults
The University of Bristol published the results of research it has recently conducted, with data showing that children found gambling advertisements much more appealing than adults did. One of the key findings was about esports and disguised gambling advertisements being almost four times more popular with children than with adults in the UK. Other concerning results showed that almost half of children are exposed to gambling ads on a weekly basis while a quarter of them are witnessing such advertisements daily.
The study showed that a vast majority of adults are either annoyed or very cautious when they encounter gambling-related ads. Meanwhile, most children had a fairly positive sentiment towards such advertisements. Dr Raffaello Rossi, one of the lead investigators, noted that the appeal of gambling ads on social media had on children can be very dangerous as it is proven that earlier engagement in gambling can raise the chance of developing gambling problems during later stages of life.
Dr Rossi added that this issue requires more clear-cut and stricter regulations that will ensure better protection for children. The report that was based on the findings of the study called for the ban of esports gambling marketing that tends to be very appealing to children and young people. Disguised gambling advertising should also be strictly regulated. The report also asks regulators to expand the age gap for the definition of “young person” from 16-17 to 16-24 years of age. Another suggestion asks for social media platforms to expose their users to gambling ads only if they have opted-in to view such content.
Gambling Prevalence Data Show 25% of British Individuals Regularly Gamble
Based on the result from e recently published data by the UK Gambling Commission, it became clear that 25% of people in the UK are regularly participating in some form of gambling. The results are based on a survey conducted by Yonder Consulting. A total of 4,005 individuals who were 16 years of age or older participated in the survey. The questions were asked via telephone, with the survey carried out in December of last year as well as March, June, and September of this year.
It was established that problem gambling rates dropped down to 0.3% compared to the rate of 0.6% for the same period of last year. What is more, the number of problem gamblers between the ages of 16 to 24 also decreased to 0.4% compared to 0.8% for the previous year.
Even though the results of the survey showed a decline in both gambling participation and problem gambling rates, experts are still concerned about the way the gambling industry is regulated. Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) noted that initiatives such as deposit limits, self-exclusion tools, funding educational programmes, investing in gambling treatment and gambling-related research, and many other measures have helped for better regulation of the gambling industry in the UK. Following the result of the study, Dugher ensured that the BGC will continue its efforts to provide a safer and more regulated gambling environment for UK individuals.
UK Casino Operators to Have Higher Duty Bands from April Next Year
Starting April 1, 2022, casino operators based in the UK will need to follow new tax payment requirements. The changes were introduced at the Autumn Budget 2021 by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. According to the latest amendments of the current law, gross gaming yield (GGY) bands will be proportionally increased along with inflation. This means that the profit amount that will require casino operators to pay a higher tax rate will also be increased.
Under the current 2021 Finance Act, casino companies have to pay a 15% tax for the first £2.5 million they generate. Meanwhile, if the operator’s earnings exceed £13.8 million, the tax rate increases to 50%. Starting April 1, 2022, the 15% tax will be imposed on the company’s first £2.6 million in earnings. The higher tax rate of 50% will be applied on earnings that surpass £14.6 million.
The purpose of the introduction of the new measure was to help casino operators maintain gaming duty at real levels. It is not expected for the measure to have significant economic, Exchequer, equalities, or other impacts.