Proposals to Research Female & BAME Gambling Harm

Proposals to Research Female & BAME Gambling Harm

GambleAware, an independent British charity, has suggested that more research be done within the gambling industry on the effects of females and the BAME community.

The organisation has called for a pair of research programmes tasked with investigating the causes and effects of problem gambling within minority communities, especially females and the black, Asian and minority ethnic demographics.

Specific Research Much Needed

The idea is that each programme will be given generous funding by GambleAware themselves, amounting to some £250,000 per initiative.

The charitable organisation, which has done some well-recognised work on gambling-related harm for many years, believes that there is limited research available on these specific subjects in the UK. More needs to be done, they say, on researching gambling harms and lived experiences within the minority communities and among women.

Whether it comes about because of the burden of reputations being held up within certain communities, or a problem with sharing information, there has been a striking correlation between gambling harms and COVID-19, especially when seeking help for each.

We say this as, despite evidence that the effects of gambling-related harm are more acute among Britain’s ethnic minority communities, such communities are statistically less likely to seek out specialist gambling services for help than white communities. A similar problem existed with coronavirus testing and vaccinations.

Evidence also exists to point out that participation in gambling, especially online, and the rate of women who go on to experience gambling problems is on the increase faster than it is with men. The reasons, thus far and without this new research, are unclear.

Why is the BAME Community and Women More at Risk?

A report released in 2020 indicated that women were around three times more likely than men to reason that practical barriers were why they did not seek out support or treatment for gambling problems.

At the same time, it was revealed that research showed that those from the BAME communities were less likely to participate in gambling, often for religious reasons, but did suffer a higher rate of ‘problem gambling.

In response to this, GambleAware called on Britain’s authorities to increase the help and support offered and specifically identified young people, females, and those from the BAME communities and those from lower socioeconomic areas as people who needed more attention.

This new research, we believe, is a terrific idea, but it would be prevalent to add something else into the mix. The elephant in the room so often when “gambling-related harm” or “lived experience” is up for discussion is what type of gambling produces harm and what people partake in such pastimes.

We agree females need more support, but that is also likely to go hand-in-hand with betting mediums that offer flashy prizes and are played needing no skills or research whatsoever, such as bingo and lotteries.

In this research, it would be great to see any correlation between what helps female gamblers need and what games put them into harms way in the first place.

This is needed and should be very public. All too often, horse racing punters, football bettors and professional poker players are lumped into the same ‘problem gambling’ category as everyone else.

What’s more, when credit cards were correctly banned for gambling purposes, the ban did not include lotteries, so currently, anyone with a scratchcard or lottery game obsession can buy as many tickets as they like, essentially “on tick”.

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