Bishop of St Albans asks about economic and social impact of problem gambling

On 26th October 2020 the Bishop of St Albans received a written answer to a question on the social and economic impact of problem gambling:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the economic impact of problem gambling; and what estimate they have made of how likely problem gamblers are (1) to experience family break up, (2) to commit crime, (3) to be unemployed, (4) to lose their homes, and (5) to have compromised life expectancy, compared with the rest of the population. [HL9197]

Baroness Barran: Public Health England is currently undertaking a major evidence review looking at the prevalence of gambling health harms and their social and economic burden. Publication of this study has been delayed by Covid-19 and is expected in early 2021.

The government does not hold figures on the proportion of problem gamblers who experience family break up, commit a crime, experience unemployment, lose their homes, or have a lower than average life expectancy. However, the Health Surveys for Scotland and England and the Gambling Commission’s survey of gambling behaviour in Wales collect data on the differing incidence of problem gambling amongst different demographic groups.

The 2016 combined Health Survey and the 2018 Health Survey for England estimated that the rate of problem gambling amongst those who are unemployed is 1.9%. The 2016 Health Surveys for England and Scotland also give data on the incidence of problem gambling amongst those who have probable mental ill health (2.2%), a low well-being score (2.6%) and who consume alcohol at a level of increased risk (0.8%).

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