In a study by Clearview research, 89% of young BAME participants said that there was a difference between how gambling is seen in minority ethnic when compared to other cultures.
The last well-designed gambling prevalence studies that took place in 2007 and 2010, the British Gambling Prevalence Survey (BGPS), explored which groups of the population suffer gambling-harm. The BGPS showed that gambling is less common amongst BAME than in White ethnic groups, with approximately ½ of all BAME individuals gambling. In contrast, it is almost ¾ of White ethnicity individuals that gamble. Despite gambling being less prevalent amongst BAME, the research also indicated that the most severe form of gambling harm, problem gambling, is between 3 – 5 more likely to affect, Black, Asian, and other ethnic minority individuals (BAME), than when compared to White ethnic groups. And similarly, BAME individuals are up to twice as likely to suffer any significant gambling-harm when compared to White ethnic groups.
In summary, approximately 1 in 2 BAME individuals gamble, 1 in 4 BAME gamblers suffer significant harm, and 1 in 15 BAME gamblers suffer the most severe form of harm.
What are some of the factors that lead to gambling-harm in BAME groups?
The British Gambling Prevalence Survey in 2010 also explored the different factors that motivate an individual to gamble. In this research, significant differences were seen between BAME gamblers and White gamblers, and particularly on the factors of ‘coping’, ‘recreation’, and ‘money’, as shown below.
BAME gamblers identify “coping” as a motivator towards gambling significantly more than non-BAME gamblers. And the average BAME gambler identifies coping as a motivator more strongly than the average low-risk harm gambler.
Coping, Mean Factor Score (SE of mean)
· White, 0.01 (0.02)
· Asian, 0.44 (0.17)
· Black, 0.52 (0.34)
· Other, 0.54 (0.24)
Asian and Black gamblers are less likely to be motivated towards gambling for recreation purposes such as filling time, as hobbies and past times, or as fun and relaxation.
Recreation, Mean Factor Score (SE of mean)
· White, 0.12 (0.02)
· Asian, -0.13 (0.10)
· Black, -0.15 (0.17)
· Other, 0.14 (0.16)
Gamblers from black ethnic groups are more likely to be motivated towards gambling to make money or gambling for the chance of winning big money when compared to other gamblers.
Money, Mean Factor Score (SE of mean)
· White, 0.17 (0.02)
· Asian, 0.22 (0.16)
· Black, 0.53 (0.09)
· Other, -0.15 (0.14)
The location of betting shops
Overall, betting shops (6808 betting shops in 1680 postcode districts in England and Wales) are in postcode districts with ethnicity distributions of:
· 80.3%, White, National average = 86%, Relative Difference: 0.93
· 2.7%, Mixed, National average = 2.2%, Relative Difference: 1.22
· 10.5%, Asian, National average = 7.5%, Relative Difference: 1.41
· 4.9%, Black, National average = 3.3%, Relative Difference: 1.50
· 1.6%, Other, National average = 1.0%, Relative Difference: 1.57
This means that betting shops in England and Wales are in postcode districts where the population is on average disproportionately composed of individuals from BAME ethnicity groups.
· -7% (less) White ethnicity
· 22% more Mixed ethnicity
· 41% more Asian ethnicity
· 50% more Black ethnicity
· 57% more Other ethnicities
In Postcode districts with ten or more betting shops (1598 betting shops in 120 postcode districts in England and Wales) the average distribution of ethnicity is:
· 63.6%, White, National average = 86%, Relative Difference: 0.79
· 4.0%, Mixed, National average = 2.2%, Relative Difference: 1.49
· 18.9%, Asian, National average = 7.5%, Relative Difference: 1.80
· 10.5%, Black, National average = 3.3%, Relative Difference: 2.11
· 3.0%, Other, National average = 1.0%, Relative Difference: 1.06
This means that where there are ten or more betting shops in a postcode district in England and Wales, the population in the postcode distribution is even more disproportionately made up of ethnic minorities. Relative to the national averages, the population in these districts are:
· -21% (less) White ethnicity
· 49% more Mixed ethnicity
· 80% more Asian ethnicity
· 111% more Black ethnicity
· 6% more Other ethnicities
Furthermore, the locations of 6518 betting shops in England are overwhelmingly in deprived areas according to 2019 Office for National Statistics Deprivation data.
· 19% of all betting shops are in the top 10% of most deprived postcodes overall
· 29% of all betting shops are in the top 10% of most deprived postcodes by crime
· 20% of all betting shops are in the top 10% of most deprived postcodes by health
· 52% of all betting shops are in the top 30% of most deprived postcodes
Gambling has a worse impact on those from a BAME background, and this is in part due to differences in cultural attitudes and associated stigmas.
Betting shops are overwhelmingly crammed into areas where there are higher percentages of BAME individuals and in areas of deprivation.
Healthcare professionals and treatment providers should look to develop and expand consideration for gambling-harm in BAME communities.
What help is available?
RecoverMe is a mobile application that will be available to download in Mid-September. It will be the first of its kind app to deliver cognitive behavioural therapy and other support tools tailored to help those with a gambling problem. The app has been made by NHS doctors with the help of psychologists, psychiatrists, and most importantly, individuals who previously had a gambling disorder. If you’d like to be one of the first to try the app out, register your interest at www.recovermeapp.co.uk
Gamblers Anonymous UK runs support groups that use the same 12-step approach to recovery from addiction as Alcoholics Anonymous. Help available via a Forum, Chat Room, Literature and of course most importantly a meeting finder. Meetings are available online.
GamCare offers free information, support and counselling for problem gamblers in the UK. It runs the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) and offers live-chat options that are also available 24 hours a day.
NHS Problem Gambling Clinics For individuals aged 16 or over, living in England or Wales, and have complex problems related to gambling; you can refer yourself to specialist NHS clinics. Contact the National Clinic based in South-West London at firstname.lastname@example.org, providing a contact number or 020 7381 7722, leaving a contact number. The Northern NHS Gambling Cliniccan be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com providing a contact number, a call on 0300 3001490, or a service contact form.
Gordon Moody Association offers residential courses – email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01384 241292 to find out more. It also runs the Gambling Therapy website, which offers online support to problem gamblers and their friends and family.
GamAnon A great place to get some immediate advice and support if you are affected by a gambling problem in your family.
Samaritans To help with whatever you are going through, call for free on 116 123.
Childline Help for those up to the age of 18, call for free on 0800 1111 or chat online