Ethnic Minorities more likely to Experience Gambling Harms

Research has found that minority groups are more likely to experience gambling harms than White British majority groups.

Ethnic Minorities more likely to Experience Gambling Harms f

"members of these communities are facing increased vulnerabilities"

Minority groups in the UK are more likely to experience gambling harms than White British majority groups, despite lower rates of participation in gambling.

GambleAware has published new research, looking at the experiences of gambling and gambling harms among minority groups in the UK.

The research was carried out by Ipsos UK and ClearView Research.

Based on a nationally representative survey, it found that 31% of people from minority groups gambled in the past four weeks compared to 48% of White British people.

But gamblers from minority groups were twice as likely to experience any level of gambling harm (42% vs 20%).

Niamh McGarry, Director of Impact at ClearView and contributor to the report, said:

“Whilst further research is needed to establish what drives higher burdens of gambling harms in minority communities, these results clearly highlight that members of these communities are facing increased vulnerabilities and are more at risk of suffering from gambling harms.

“Services must be designed with the voice of Minority communities centred throughout, and this research helps demonstrate that specific attention and specialised support is needed to effectively address these inequalities.”

The report presents the wider factors that might contribute to or compound specific vulnerabilities.

Analysis of responses from the survey revealed that among those who gamble, members of minority groups are:

  • Three times more likely than the White British Majority group to use gambling as a coping mechanism in response to challenges and difficulties in life (18% vs 6%).
  • More likely than the White British Majority group to say that they would like to limit their gambling but are finding it difficult to do so (9% vs 1%).
  • More likely than the White British Majority group to report intention to reduce their gambling (28% vs 14%).
  • Slightly less likely than the White British Majority group to feel comfortable seeking formal support for their gambling, often due to fear of judgement and stigma (58% would feel comfortable vs 61%).

The research identifies a potential relationship between discrimination and gambling harm experiences.

Among people from a minority background, 48% of those experiencing any form of gambling harm are also more likely to have experienced discrimination in public, compared to 32% of those not experiencing harms.

Zoe Osmond, CEO of GambleAware, said:

“GambleAware is committed to building knowledge about the lived experience of Minority communities and gambling harms, and about the drivers of gambling harms experienced by these communities.

“The higher prevalence of gambling harms amongst Minority groups, coupled with the fact they are less likely to access specialist gambling services, is alarming and demonstrates the clear need for further investigation and tailored solutions.

“We need to break down the barriers to accessing support, and challenge the stigma and discrimination faced by these communities.”

Nicola Moss, Head of Ipsos North, said:

“The research has highlighted how important it is to consider experiences of racism and discrimination when researching the lived experience of gambling and gambling harms among Minority groups or affected others.

“Additional research among treatment providers would also be beneficial to improve understanding of how services can be better signposted and tailored to different Minority Groups.”

In addition to the results, a qualitative study that further investigates the relationship between racism, discrimination, and gambling harms is underway.

It will be published later in 2023.



Dhiren is a News & Content Editor who loves all things football. He also has a passion for gaming and watching films. His motto is to "Live life one day at a time".




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