Women In The UK Gamble More Due To Higher Cost of Living

Women In The UK Gamble More Due To Higher Cost of Living

Women in the United Kingdom are expected to gamble more as a way to compensate for the increasing cost of living in the country, GambleAware reports. One in four women in the UK that frequently gamble expect to gamble more as a result of the higher cost of living. This has been revealed in a study about women’s gambling behaviour by research firm Opinium, on behalf of GambleAware.

A survey by the British GambleAware shows that the women expect to gamble more, specifically due to the current financial crisis that has affected people in the entire world. The higher cost of living is seen as the main reason for women between the ages of 18 and 49 to show compensatory behaviour. Industry experts fear that getting involved in (online) gambling will get them into more trouble as the group is seen as a risk group.

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Worrying Developments

The survey was conducted in the second and third week of August by research agency Opinium. A total of 1,606 women between the ages of 18 and 49 who had gambled in the past month responded to the survey. The study found that 24% of women expect to gamble more as a result of the rising cost of living. In addition, the survey shows that 38% of those surveyed had spent more money on gambling than they originally intended, while 21% had tried to regain lost money with compensatory behaviour. A similar group, 21%, indicated that gambling had caused health problems such as stress and anxiety.

In the four weeks prior to the survey, the vast majority of gambling women participated in lotteries (59%) and scratch cards (56%), whilst a large group also indicated that they played bingo (38%). In the study, all participants were assessed on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), which should provide an indication of the extent to which the person’s gambling behaviour is considered problematic.

Of the women who scored an eight or higher on the index, 44% said they have started gambling more often in the past year. About half of the respondents stated they did so with the objective of winning money to meet the rising costs in the country. A third of the same group tries to solve financial problems with (online) gambling.

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Scratch Cards Most Popular

More than half of the women that took part in the survey (52%) played bingo, a significantly higher proportion compared to the total group of respondents. Lotteries (57%) and scratch cards are the most preferred games of chance among the group of players that show problematic gambling behaviour. GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond says the results of the survey into women’s gambling behaviour are worrisome:

“This new study raises serious concerns about the potential growth of gambling damages in the coming months. With such strong indicators, it is vital that we ensure that more women are aware of the risks of gambling by addressing them directly. With higher cost-of-living and the number of women gambling online growing as a consequence, we fear this is creating a perfect storm that could lead to an increase in the number of women experiencing gambling addictions or more financial problems.”

Zoë Osmond, CEO of GambleAware

Campaign spokesperson Linda Papadopoulos thinks stigma plays an important role when it comes to why women don’t seek help for problematic gaming behaviour:

“Gambling harm can affect anyone in all walks of life. It can put a strain on relationships, affect work, and if it remains unsolved, it can even lead to significant emotional, physical and financial burdens. We should not underestimate the role stigmatisation plays in preventing women from seeking help for gambling-related problems.”

Linda Papadopoulos, campaign spokesperson

The survey showed that one in five women is not aware of the options available to seek help. The most well-known form of help for the participants were the self-help groups.

Opposite Conclusion in NZ

The study in the United Kingdom performed by Opinium shows the contrary of what has been concluded in New Zealand by Tab NZ. After first failing to meet the budget targets in May, it has not yet recovered since and has continued to perform lower than budgeted. Looking back at the disappointing performances, Tab NZ indicated the most important reason for missing their budgetary targets was that New Zealanders have stopped spending money on gambling due to higher cost of living. It also states that it expects that the costs will continue to rise in the country and that gambling spendings will do the opposite as a consequence as Kiwis have less money available for games of chance.

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