Problem gamblers cost the UK Government up to £1.2 billion per year

Group of dominoes in a row

London, Tuesday 13th December

The true cost of problem gambling is revealed today in a new report commissioned by GambleAware.

The study, completed by the IPPR, estimates that problem gamblers cost the government between £260 million and £1.2 billion per year. The research highlights which parts of Government absorb the worst of the costs of gambling related harm, these are:

 

In health:

 hospital inpatient services (£140 million–£610 million)

 mental health primary care (£10–£40 million)

 secondary mental health services (£30 million–£110 million)

 

In welfare and employment:

 JSA claimant costs and lost labour tax receipts (£40 million–£160 million)

 

In housing

 statutory homelessness applications (£10 million–£60 million)

 

In criminal justice

 incarcerations (£40 million–£190 million)

Despite the significant costs associated with these people, only 0.4 to 1.1 per cent of the adult population are considered problem gamblers.

 

Paul Buck, CEO of EPIC, who helped present the report at the Houses of Parliament on the 13th December, commented:
“This is perhaps the most useful and comprehensive data around problematic gambling since the 2010 British Gambling Prevalence Survey. It is a positive step that meaningful data is starting to be produced again. However we believe that this can only be a starting block and not the finish line. Whilst the report covers important and relevant costs it also doesn’t include so many costs to the UK such as housing benefit, police investigations, court & legal costs, lost tax revenue, unemployment, homelessness, domestic abuse and child abuse amongst many others.
EPIC would welcome the National Strategy that the IPPR propose and are pleased to see that education, awareness raising and prevention are high on the agenda as, possibly above other addictions, it is so important to stop people getting to the edge of the cliff if the first place.”

Read the full article here