According to a new study by the University of Liverpool and the National Centre for Social Research, people living in poor areas of the UK are more likely to play in casinos and place long bets. The study also showed that gambling firms make their profits from the money of the 5% of the accounts that stack up the biggest losses. The casinos make at least 70% of their revenue share from those who lose continually.
When it comes to sports, the number rises to 86%, as people in those areas put longer odd wagers with a hope of success. Almost all casino accounts won money or lost less than £500 over a year, but 164.000 lost more than £5000 during just a single session of a play, while 47.000 people have lost more than £5000 in just one year.
Slots are responsible for more than half losses, above £5000 and 70% sessions where a player played for 3 hours straight.
“This all reaffirms my thoughts that those most vulnerable are groomed and exploited by an industry entirely motivated by profit,” said the Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who chairs a cross-party group advocating gambling reform.
“We saw it with the clustering of bookies in deprived areas, when the FOBTs were a huge money-maker,” she added. “We are seeing it now with online. How can we trust this industry to self-regulate when they have repeatedly shown themselves to be predatory and merciless in their pursuit of profit?”
“This confirms what we have known for a long time, that the vast majority of online gambling profits are coming from people losing more than they can afford. Affordability checks introduced for losses equivalent to £100 a month would apply to fewer than 5% of gamblers,” Matt Zarb-Cousin of the Campaign for Fairer Gambling said.