New UK ‘Gambling Capital’ Linked to Poverty

Posted on: November 22, 2021, 08:58h. 

Last updated on: November 23, 2021, 09:57h.

The borough of Knowsley leads the UK in gambling activity. This was found in a recent study conducted by the UK’s Public Health England.

Shoppers walk down a commercial street in Knowsley, UK. The city has a high rate of poverty, and, unfortunately, a high rate of gambling, as well. (Image: BBC)

The study found that more people in the borough gamble regularly than anywhere else in the country.

The region is known for struggling with chronic poverty. Knowsley is the second most deprived borough in England, according to several studies. Nearly 30% of all children in the region are living in poverty. Compared to 18% of children in other areas of the country.

The Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley is located in northwestern England, near the city of Liverpool. The borough has a population of approximately 150,000.

Highest Rate of Gambling

Most notably, the study found that the borough had the highest levels of gambling in the country with nearly 80% of people in Knowsley having gambled. In Liverpool, the rate was second highest at 67%

Regular gambling and problem gambling are not inextricably linked. However, the report links problem gambling and poverty.

“The most socio-economically deprived and disadvantaged groups in England have the lowest gambling participation rates, but the highest levels of harmful gambling and they are also the most susceptible to harm,” the report states.

Profile to Establish Problem Gambling Areas

The local council held a meeting on Nov. 17, to discuss the report and solutions to problem gambling in the area.

Per the report, the council will work with the public health team to develop a detailed local area profile to determine where specifically in the borough individuals are more vulnerable to gambling harm.

Each electoral ward will complete a profile. This information will then be used to identify which areas are at greater risk of gambling harm. This is to be reviewed in Spring 2022.

Earlier this year, the council proposed several changes to its licensing regime. This included moving from yearly to six monthly inspections of gambling premises.