The largest-ever study into betting shows that one in eight people in the UK are at risk of problem gambling.
The study is the result of research with 19,000 people and will form part of the investigation into fresh gambling legislation that is being drawn up by government ministers.
The researchers found that almost half of the population admitting to betting, either online or at events, and that 11.9 per cent had “at least one characteristic of a problem gambler.”
Currently 2.4 per cent of players are considered problem gamblers, said the report from YouGov researching on behalf of GambleAware. Nearly three times that number, however, are defined as being affected by gambling through having a partner or relative who is a problem gambler.
The report comes as intelligence is being gathered by the UK government for fresh regulations that many believe are aimed at imposing limits on stakes played online and legally enforced checks on whether players can afford losses. Also in line for change is the sponsorship of gambling on sports shirts.