Wednesday 23 October 2019 / 2:02 PM Gambling / Tom Watson

Tom Watson responds to children gambling addicts statistics

Tom Watson, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, commenting on the Gambling Commission release that shows 55,000 children are gambling addicts, said:

“Levels of gambling among children remain stubbornly high. One child gambling addict is too many, let alone 55,000, and these figures show one in ten children is gambling every week.

“The government’s soft touch approach to gambling regulation has failed. The next Labour government will bring problem gambling under control with a comprehensive new gambling act, which will bring gambling advertising, spiralling losses and burgeoning in-game gambling products under control.”



Notes to Editors:

  • 1.7 per cent of 11-16 year olds are classified as ‘problem’ gamblers. When grossed up to population figures, the 1.7 per cent of young people classified as problem gamblers equates to approximately 55,000 11-16 year olds in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • The findings show that 11 per cent of 11-16-year olds that took part in the survey say they have spent their own money on gambling in the past seven days
  • Young people who say they have gambled in the past seven days spent an average of £17 on gambling during this period.
  • 52 per cent of young people say they have heard of in game items, of which 44 per cent who say they have paid money to open loot boxes to get other in game items within the game they were playing, and 6 per cent said that they have bet with in-game items either with friends or through unlicensed third party sites (so called ‘skins’ gambling).
  • Of those that have paid for money to open loot boxes/crates/packs and remember where they got the money from 49 per cent spent money that they received for birthday or Christmas presents, with 34 per cent saying the money was given to them by parents/relatives to specifically buy loot boxes/crates/packs.
  • Source: