Scotland Wants University Students to Weigh In on Gambling Policies

Posted on: October 19, 2022, 12:39h. 

Last updated on: October 20, 2022, 09:25h.

Today’s younger generations are the gamblers of tomorrow. To that end, Scotland wants to understand what university students think about the activity, as well as cryptocurrency.

Scottish flag
A man holds the Scottish flag in front of a crowd. A trio of Scottish youth organizations is launching a survey to understand how university students approach the topics of gambling and cryptocurrency. (Image: The Scotsman)

Fast Forward, a Scottish organization that promotes health and well-being for young people, needs input. It is conducting a survey and wants university students to weigh in on gambling and cryptocurrency.

It’s working with two other organizations, RCA Trust and Tackling Gambling Stigma, to complete its research. They have created an online survey for students to access, promising that participants will remain anonymous. However, the results could be made public.

Understanding Tomorrow’s Gamblers

The survey, which Fast Forward indicates can be completed in under 10 minutes, explores some of the leading topics in the consumer world. The gambling industry has taken on new life over the past few years, and understanding how younger generations approach it can shape policy and operational development.

Cryptocurrency continues to be at the forefront as well. Brexit led to increased interest in the UK for crypto. Regulations are in development to detail how the ecosystem will transform.

Digital currencies could be a form of income under UK law, according to the government. If employees receive crypto as part of their wages, they might be liable to pay income tax on them. In addition, if they receive crypto through mining operations, there may also be a tax, depending on the amount.

In addition to gambling and crypto, the survey covers another hot topic – loot boxes. Fast Forward asks participants to indicate if they play video games. If so, it wants to know if they have ever purchased or acquired in-game rewards. In light of the current dilemma involving them, one of the questions asks if the survey-taker thinks loot boxes are a form of gambling.

Fast Forward doesn’t specify the purpose behind the survey. However, RCA Trust and Tackling Gambling Stigma are health and safe gambling-related organizations. So it’s likely that the goal is to influence policy.

UKGC Continues Focus on Gambling Harm

At the same time that Fast Forward is exploring how younger people view gambling harm, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is also examining the topic. The regulator conducts periodic surveys to gauge consumer opinion, and has previously indicated that it would alter its approach.

The UKGC reported that it’s been testing new questions that could become part of its permanent reviews. It spent all of 2022 alongside researchers and academics honing its questions. As it does, it continues to make adjustments based on the feedback it receives.

The goal, according to the regulator’s statement, is not to produce a survey that subjectively approaches consumers from a problem gambling angle. Instead, it wants to have a purely objective and transparent solution that will allow it to create new policies and procedures.

The transformation is still ongoing, and the final product will require additional input and participation from stakeholders. The UKGC added that it expects “a range of partners to be involved in the funding and delivery of research to measure and understand gambling harms and the impact that they have on individuals, families, communities, and society.”