The UK’s most deprived areas have more than ten times as many betting shops as the wealthiest parts of the country, new research shows.
A full 21% of the gaming venues are in the lower tenth of the country, measured by deprivation.
Meanwhile, only 2% of the sites are in the top 10% of the least deprived areas, research by the University of Bristol, supported by the Standard Life Foundation, shows.
Although the number has declined in recent years, the UK still had more gambling sites than stores from the big eight supermarket chains combined, the researchers said.
They also found that half of the country’s gambling treatment centers were within 250 meters of their nearest gambling facilities.
“Gambling problems are a public health problem that causes serious damage to the finances, livelihoods and relationships of people,” said Mubin Haq, chairman of the Standard Life Foundation.
“Those with the fewest resources are targeted more, with twice as many arcades on their doorstep as supermarkets.
“If we really want to move up, the new gambling reforms currently being considered must take into account the geography of the gambling venues 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.
Around 44% of UK gambling was conducted in physical locations prior to the pandemic, with the UK spending around £ 5 billion in stores.
Jamie Evans, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Bristol, said, “The research shows the clear discrepancy between the amenities available in ‘backward’ areas compared to those that are more affluent.
“While the gambling industry provides much-needed jobs in these areas, it typically needs much more than it gives, leaving a legacy of greater hardship and increasing social problems.”
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