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Gambling: Females

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL15276, tabled on 24 April 2019

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of reports that female gambling addicts now outnumber male gambling addicts in Sweden; and what plans they have to re-evaluate and expand the policy evidence base in the UK in respect of the gender makeup of gambling addicts.

Answered on

9 May 2019

The main source of data for problem and at-risk gambling behaviour in Great Britain is the Health Surveys for England and Scotland, and the Problem Gambling Survey Wales. 2016 data showed that men were more likely than women to be classified as a problem gambler (1.2% and 0.2% respectively). The surveys also indicated that certain other groups are at greater risk of experiencing problems from gambling, including those with poor mental health or who are unemployed. However, further work is needed to understand the nature of these associations.

Government recognises the importance of building understanding of how gambling related harm is experienced and by whom. Public Health England (PHE) is carrying out an evidence review looking at the health harms associated with gambling and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (now called the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling, ABSG) published a paper setting out a potential framework for measuring harm. Protecting vulnerable people from gambling-related harm is a priority for the Government and where there is evidence that a particular product or environment is causing harm, we will take action.

In March 2019, government awarded just over £1 million to GamCare for a project to raise awareness of how gambling is linked with a range of issues affecting women and girls and help to better identify women in need of support. One of the core work strands of the programme is to build data in this area.