The UK’s most disadvantaged areas have more than ten times as many betting shops as the country’s wealthiest areas, according to a new study.
21% of gambling establishments are in the bottom tenth of the country, as measured by deprivation.
Meanwhile, only 2% of sites are in the 10% of least deprived areas, according to a study by the University of Bristol, supported by the Standard Life Foundation.
Although the number has declined in recent years, there were still more gambling sites in Britain than stores run by the eight major supermarket chains combined, the researchers said.
They also found that half of the nation’s gambling processing centers were within 250 yards of their nearest gambling site.
“Problem gambling is a public health problem, causing serious damage to people’s finances, livelihoods and relationships,” said Mubin Haq, CEO of the Standard Life Foundation.
“Those with the fewest resources are more targeted, with twice as many places to play on their doorstep than supermarkets.
“If we are serious about taking it to the next level, the new gaming reforms currently being considered must take into account the geography of gaming locations and give local authorities more control over licensing. “
The report found that Glasgow, Liverpool, Middlesbrough and parts of London had the highest number of betting shops per capita.
About 44% of UK gambling was still conducted in physical locations before the pandemic, with Britons spending around £ 5bn in stores.
Jamie Evans, Senior Research Associate at the University of Bristol, said: “The research highlights the obvious mismatch between the amenities available in ‘left behind’ areas versus those that are richer.
“Rather than having better access to the facilities, services and opportunities that help people improve their lives, people in the most disadvantaged communities are disproportionately faced with choices that can often prove to be damaging.
“While the gaming industry may offer much needed jobs in these fields, it usually takes a lot more than it gives, leaving a legacy of greater hardship and increased social problems.”