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Media Always Focuses on Negative Impact Of Gambling

Posted 2/16/11 : Reportage on the newly released UK Gambling Prevalence study often focuses on the negative
 
Perhaps predictably, much of the mainstream media focused on the negative aspect of gambling - problem players - in reportage on the UK Gambling Commission's third Prevalence of Gambling survey published Tuesday .
 
Many publications both on and offline highlighted the rise over the past three years in gamblers with a potential to become problem gamblers, with Reuters probably providing the more balanced assessment.
 
Trade association Business in Sport and Leisure (BISL) was quick in publishing its own analysis of the numbers, probably learning from past experience how prone much of the media is to accentuating the negative when it comes to gambling.
 
The BISL drew attention to aspects of the study that showed:
 
* Participation in gambling has increased in the UK to 35.5 million people – in the last (2007) survey 68 percent of the population had enjoyed a flutter - overwhelmingly on lotteries - whilst this time around this number has increased to 73 percent. If the lottery gamblers are removed, the number is 58 percent (2007: 48 percent)
 
* Fewer than 1 in 100 (less than 1 percent) of the adult population has a potential or real problem with their gambling. The survey arrived at growth problem gambling figures over the three year period of between .9 or .7 of a percentage point at the high end, and .7 and .5 of a percentage point at the low, describing the growth as "not statistically significant".  In the 2007 survey the number was .6 of a percentage point.
 
The BISL statement called for more detailed analysis of what constitutes problem gambling to refine the numbers more precisely and better address the problem, noting that any rise is a cause for concern.
 
* That 78 percent of people who gamble do so because it is fun, and that gambling is an increasingly mainstream leisure activity in the UK
 
Dominic Harrison, CEO of BISL said, “The survey shows that gambling remains a fun activity for the vast majority of adults in the UK.  However any level of problem gambling is a challenge which needs to be tackled.  BISL is committed to continuing its work with its member companies, Government, the Gambling Commission, GamCare, GREaT, the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board and the academic community to help address and deal with problem gambling.
 
"The gambling industry makes significant and concerted efforts to tackle problem gambling each year ranging from voluntary donations of some GBP5 million to fund research, education and treatment to operating rigorous codes of conduct in line with the highest standards of social responsibility. The structures that now exist with the GREaT Foundation and the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board enable resources to be focused directly onto those people that need it most."
 
Brian Pomeroy, chairman of the Gambling Commission, told Reuters:
 
"The survey confirms that there are a significant and growing number of people who take part in gambling."
 
"However, it also indicates that a small, but probably growing, proportion of the population have serious problems with their gambling. This reinforces our determination to see that gambling regulation continues to both minimise the risk to those individuals and ensure that the majority of people can continue to gamble safely," he added.
 
The level of UK problem gamblers is similar to those in other European countries, the Commission said, but lower than in the United States, Australia and South Africa.
 
The independent survey showed that only a small proportion of punters - 14 percent - gambled online, with 39 percent of those preferring casino action, and 27 percent sports betting.
 
Growth in the number of online gamblers over the three year period has been 5 percent, compared with 24 percent on scratchcards; other lotteries 25 percent; horseracing 16 percent; and 'other events' 9 percent.
 
The one form of gambling shown to be declining in popularity was the football pools.
 
The most popular form of gambling remains the National Lottery, which 59 percent of the population had bought tickets for.



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NHL Odds: Forsberg Faces Elliott in Nashville - The last time the Nashville Predators played against the Calgary Flames, Calgary had a 4-1 lead five minutes into the second period. Nashville responded with four back-to-back goals, including a hat trick from centreman Filip Forsberg. Both teams went into overtime with five goals, and Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano (12 goals, 22 assists) scored the winning goal.

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NBA Odds: Hawks, Wiz in Southeast Showdown - The Washington Wizards (42-27 SU, 36-32-1 ATS) can pretty much secure the Southeast Division title with a win Wednesday night over the Atlanta Hawks (37-32 SU, 31-38 ATS). Tip-off is at 8 PM ET on ESPN; the Wizards lead Atlanta by five games with less than a month remaining before the playoffs.

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NBA Odds: Clippers Try to Slow Down Bucks in LA - Milwaukee Bucks small forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin are two of the most talented and versatile forwards in the NBA. The two lead their teams into battle on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

NCAAB Odds: SMU Hosts Tulsa With AAC Title on the Line - There aren’t too many college basketball teams more profitable than the SMU Mustangs (25-4 SU, 18-5-1 ATS). They host the Tulsa Golden Hurricane (14-14 SU, 15-12 ATS) this Thursday night, tipping off at 8 PM ET on CBSSN.

NHL Odds: Canadiens Welcome Islanders Tonight - The Montreal Canadiens (32-20-8) welcome the New York Islanders (28-21-10) on Thursday (7:30 PM ET on SNE). After getting their first victory under new head coach Claude Julien, the Canadiens will look to build on that momentum against a red-hot Islanders team.

NHL Odds: Reeling Flyers Seek Relief in Pittsburgh - #nhl The Philadelphia Flyers have been a bit off since the holidays. They’ve won just eight games since the Christmas break, and now they’ve got a tough one coming up this Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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