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Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN 75030, tabled on 15 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment she has made of the potential impact of gambling on (a) mental health and (b) levels of suicide.

Answered on

19 November 2021

As set out in Public Health England’s evidence review of gambling-related harms, the problem gambling rate for England was estimated as 0.5% in 2018, and has been relatively stable since 2012. The 2018 Health Survey also showed the problem gambling rate for Yorkshire and the Humber was 0.7%.

Public Health England’s (PHE) evidence review of gambling-related harms found that there is a higher prevalence of problem gambling among people with poor health, low life satisfaction and wellbeing scores, and the problem gambling rate is higher among more deprived groups than less deprived groups.

It also found an association between harmful gambling, poor mental health and higher levels of alcohol consumption, although most of the published studies were not able to demonstrate the direction of causation.

The review examined the association between suicidal behaviours and problem gambling. It estimates 409 deaths a year from suicide associated with problem gambling, based on studies in Sweden. The government does not hold data on how many suicides in the United Kingdom are linked to gambling.