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Latest licensing authority statistics published

We have published the licensing authority statistics for the year ending 31 March 2019. This latest edition provides a comparison on data covering the period 2014 to 2019.  We have also published an Excel version of the statistics to provide more transparency and an element of interactivity with the figures and enable you to compare your activity with other LAs.

For the sixth year running all 380 licensing authorities (LAs) submitted their returns – many thanks again to LAs for the full house once more.  The report contains information about the number of permits, temporary use notices, and occasional use notices issued, as well as the number of gambling premises inspections conducted.

Between 1 April 2018 and 31 March 2019:

  • 275 LAs conducted visits during the year (up from 259 LAs in March 2018).
  • 5, 098 inspections /visits to gambling premises by LAs (up1% from March 2018). This includes proactive and reactive visits, follow up inspections and test purchasing exercises.
  • 2,838 gambling-related permits were issued or notifications received (down 37% from March 2018).  

How gaming & gambling affect student life

The Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust (YGAM) recently published the results of a survey of over 2000 higher education students about their attitudes to gaming and gambling.

Whilst a large number of those asked said that they enjoyed the social side of both gaming and gambling, the survey results indicate that it can also have a negative impact on the academic performance of students and the quality of their friendships and social activities.  In addition, for the students who gamble, nearly half said that they are constantly concerned about their financial situation. 

Summary of results:

  • Gaming is a popular way to reduce stress.  Students are finding the university experience stressful.  With 79% of students playing digital games, easing the pressures may be a positive benefit but 48% of those who game every day said it has got in the way of friendships and studies.
  • The more frequently students game, the greater the impact.  The research revealed that for those who game every day, one fifth have a negative sense of belonging at university, and over one-third say it has got in the way of their social life. 
  • 264,000 students in the UK are at some risk from gambling with around 88,000 already defined as problem gamblers.
  • 59% of students who gamble say they are always worrying about their financial situation while 16% have gambled more than they could afford.
  • Students gamble to escape the stresses of university. For students who are moderate risk or problem gamblers the findings show they are more likely to gamble to ‘cheer them up when they are depressed’, even though 9 in 10 feel guilty about the way they have gambled. 
  • One third of these students say their gambling habits have a negative effect on their wellbeing, over half have considered dropping out of university and one in seven have a negative perception of their overall university experience.  

Howard League’s Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling

The impact of problem gambling on crime is a burgeoning area of international concern, with a scale and diversity of offending that reflects a growing national and international portfolio of gambling activities. Launched during the summer, the Commission will run for three years to develop our understanding of, and ability to respond to, the links between problem gambling and crime.

Chaired by Lord Peter Goldsmith GC, the Commission will investigate patterns of crime linked to problem gambling and the societal harms that link crime and problem gambling, before seeking to make recommendations for government, the gambling industry and within the criminal justice system.

Further details of the Commissioners and how to submit evidence is available on the Howard League website.

24 hour service pilot for GamCare’s national gambling helpline

Following funding from GambleAware, GamCare will be providing a 24-hour service via the National Gambling HelpLine from October 2019 for advice, information and support for anyone affected by gambling problems. The pilot will initially run for two years.

Blog: move to mobile

Our most recent annual participation statistics show that 44% of online gamblers had reported gambling on mobile in the past four weeks, almost double the rate recorded when we began tracking this data in 2015 (23%).  We commissioned 2CV to undertake research in to why people gamble and how gambling fits into their lives, including some insights about the role played by mobile phones in gambling behaviour.  

£1.8m fine for land based casino

Following a Commission investigation into its Park Lane Club in Mayfair, Silverbond Enterprises Limited has received a £1.8m fine, an operator licence warning and had additional conditions added to its licence for social responsibility and money laundering failings.

BACTA & Cat D machines

Over the summer BACTA asked their members to undertake a trial to put stickers on Category D reel based cash payout machines advising that the use of such machines was restricted to those over 16 years of age unless accompanied by an adult.  BACTA has advised that over 4000 stickers have now been sent out to its members, who are enforcing the approach, and it will be incorporated into the trade body’s Code of Conduct and Social Responsibility Charter.  

LAs are reminded that these stickers are not a requirement of the Gambling Act but a voluntary step taken by BACTA members within the industry to help address public concerns even though under 18s are legally permitted to play these machines.

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Next: Consultations and calls for evidence