A recent report from UK gambling prevention charity GambleAware has revealed the intersection of gambling harms and experiences within minority communities. The study, conducted by Ipsos UK, ClearView Research, and the University of Manchester, aims to understand the impact of racism and discrimination on gambling-related issues among minority populations.
According to the report, individuals from minority backgrounds who face any form of gambling problem are 50% more likely to encounter racism or discrimination in public settings compared to those without gambling issues. Some participants noted a direct link between discrimination and susceptibility to gambling harms, citing social exclusion, limited job opportunities, and increased mental health risks as contributing factors.
The study also found that gambling serves as a coping mechanism among minority communities, with individuals from these backgrounds three times more likely to turn to gambling to deal with life challenges compared to their White British counterparts.
Participants expressed various barriers preventing them from seeking support for their gambling issues, including a lack of awareness of available support services and mistrust of healthcare providers due to past experiences of discrimination while seeking healthcare.
GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond emphasized that gambling harms can affect anyone, but are more prevalent and damaging in communities facing social inequality, such as minority groups. Osmond encouraged individuals from all backgrounds to seek help through the National Gambling Support Network, which offers confidential tailored support and community outreach to increase awareness and early intervention.
To address disparities, GambleAware has launched a £4.3m funding program aimed at reducing gambling harm within minority religious and ethnic communities in England, Scotland, and Wales.
In addition to this effort, GambleAware’s National Gambling Support Network reported positive outcomes for individuals seeking assistance with gambling problems. CEO Graham England of Ara Recovery for All commended the network’s success, highlighting that nine out of 10 patients experienced significant improvements following treatment.
In November 2023, GambleAware launched a campaign urging individuals dealing with gambling challenges to open up about their experiences. Research findings revealed that 64% of adults with gambling issues had never confided in anyone due to societal stigma, with 39% citing stigma as the reason for their silence. However, among those who did open up, 76% reported feeling significantly better after discussing their concerns, proving the positive effect of open dialogue on gambling-related struggles.