How Much Money Does the UK Spend On Problem Gamblers?

Problem gamblers in the UK cost up to £1.2bn each year according to reports summarised by the GambleAware charity, IPPR Thinktank. The cost of problem gambling involves mental health service costs, homelessness, and police intervention. Online Gambling in the UK accounts for most of the revenue generation at £5.6bn which is around 38.8% of the total expenditure in casino betting, games, bingo applications, etc. 

After that, customers place bets at betting shops which generate £3.2bn. In the UK, the National Lottery is the most played gambling activity which is followed by scratch cards. People between 25 to 34 are most vulnerable to gambling and 40% among them participate in at least one form of gambling every month. Men in the UK gamble more than women. According to a 2018 survey, 37% of men surveyed had gambled whereas 28% of the women surveyed had gambled. 

While gambling has been a concern across many tiers within UK society, licensing agencies such as UKGC have put up several controls to curb it as much as possible. For example, football clubs such as Arsenal, Norwich City, Nottingham Forest, Manchester City have been directed not to endorse Ads and merchandise that were sponsored by Gambling agencies or casinos. Launched in the year 2015, the Self Enrollment National Self Exclusion Scheme (SENSE) had been enabling problem gamblers into exclusion schemes targeted towards land-based casinos. 

Softwares that are used to restrict out casino websites and Apps from phones and laptops such as Gamban, Betfilter, Netnanny, Gamblock have been promoted aggressively to influence problem gamblers.  Well, there are numerous such ventures that have been put in place to help problem gamblers. This is definitely an issue that has shot up the government radars. Read on to know how serious it has turned.

About Statistics 

The total number of betting shops in the UK is around 8423 as per the 2018 survey. Most gambling activities are online via mobiles or laptops. Gambling is a problem that affects about 9 people in every 1000 people. Problem gambling can lead to serious addictions, debt, family debates and can be described as a total loss of control over oneself. A survey conducted by the National Gambling Treatment Service in 2020 showed that only 9008 people received help and care till March 2020 which is about 3% addicts. 

England consists of around 280,000 gambling addicts in England according to a study by NHS Digital in 2018. A survey by YouGov stated that there are around 1.4 million problem gamblers across the UK in 2020. Among the people who were receiving treatment in 2020, 45% of them were in serious debts of more than $6800, they were bankrupt, or were undergoing a debt repayment scheme. Reports stated that the majority of the people who received treatment showed significant improvement and thus bringing up more help centres and methods of help are required to cater to mass addicts to come out of their problem.

Tool To Beat Problem Gambling-Gamstop 

Gamstop is a self-exclusion scheme that is particularly designed to cater to problem gamblers in order to curb their gambling tendencies. Gamstop bans the players signing up with the scheme to ban access to all UK-based gambling sites registered under the UKGC and Gamstop. Punters can choose their desired time period ranging from 6 months, a year, or  5 years and can continue after the minimum period of exclusion is over. 

It is a primary solution for gambling addicts suffering from financial debts and losses or who have no control over the choices they make. The information shared by them on Gamstop is subjected to security and confidentiality in order to prioritize the customers and motivate them. Gamstop does not deal with sites under some offshore jurisdiction such as non GamStop ones described here – or other sites including CasinoGap.  

  • Users Database: This technology is a part of the creation of Gamstop and helps in filtering marketing lists by operators. It also ensures that a punter who has registered under the scheme is exempted from accessing any gambling operator or receiving marketing emails, promotional content from the companies. 
  • Operators Portal: Remote gambling operators who are licensed under the UKGV are granted access to the portal and must be enlisted in the Gamstop scheme. 


The online gambling industry has been growing at a rapid pace in the UK and considering the addictive tendencies among punters, certain rules and regulations must be maintained in order to protect people from losing their resources by falling prey to gambling. As per the data and surveys, registration on Gamstop would pave the way towards rectifying gambling habits and abolish the ill effects of gambling addiction. Gamstop is government-affiliated and helps in the welfare of society. It is also free of cost and requires no subscription or registration fee. It does not guarantee to put an end to the negative gambling habits of a punter but is a great alternative to escape the shackles of gambling. Reducing the number of problem gamblers in the UK must be taken seriously in order to have a positive impact on society and boost up gaming as a casual activity that does not have negative impacts on its customers.