Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

50 years on, UK betting shops lure new breed of punters

09.05.2011
Fifty years after legalisation, the UK's betting shops are attracting a new type of customer. This widening appeal may have harmful consequences in terms of problem gambling, argues initial research findings funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Betting shops today are virtually unrecognisable compared to the betting offices legalised by the 1961 Betting and Gaming Act. "Under the Act, the newly licensed betting offices were required not to encourage loitering," states researcher Professor Gerda Reith of Glasgow University. "Today's attractive, comfortable premises are a world apart from that. In particular, their touch-screen Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) that allow players to bet on the outcome of various games and events are encouraging new types of customers and new styles of play."

While older, working-class males used to make up the majority of punters, betting machines appear to be drawing first-time gamblers, particularly young males and ethnic minority groups into betting shops. "A proportion of older gamblers are also attracted to FOBTs, a change from their traditional bets," Professor Reith points out. These machines are now hugely popular. Profits from FOBTs, which were introduced in 2001, now outstrip profits from traditional over the counter bets on horseracing, greyhounds and football.

Professor Reith's research shows that both the types of betting as well as the clientele of betting shops are changing. Is this causing more individuals to become problem gamblers?

Says Professor Reith: "Gambling itself is not dangerous, it is how people deal with it that can cause harm. That said, some types of gambling are more risky than others and FOBT's seem to be one of the products most associated with harm at present. For example, we have evidence that some older betting shop customers who did not have problems with gambling in the past are more likely to develop problems when they start to use betting machines."

Betting machines are particularly risky in terms of problem gambling because of the enormous speed with which they take gamblers' money. "Compared with some forms of gambling such as horse races or even casino table games, betting machine games are extremely quick, the stakes are high and the losses can very quickly become higher," Professor Reith explains.

Findings from Professor Reith's earlier research shed light on the causes and paths of people's gambling behaviours. Individuals, her research shows, are not born gamblers but rather become gamblers (and problem gamblers) through complex processes of social interaction with their environment. Gambling as a behaviour – whether problem or not – fluctuates over the life course, sometimes to quite a high degree. Hence, 'problem gamblers' are not a discrete group. Rather, gamblers can move in and out of 'problem gambling' during their lives.

Understanding this dynamic, researchers suggest, is key to identifying effective interventions, and informing policy so that the harms associated with gambling remain at a minimum.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT
Professor Gerda Reith (Tel: 0141 330 3849, email: Gerda.Reith@glasgow.ac.uk)
ESRC Press Office:
Danielle Moore (Tel: 01793 413122, email: danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk )
Jeanine Woolley (Tel: 01793 413119, email: jeanine.woolley@esrc.ac.uk )
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. This release is based on preliminary findings from a current project, Understanding Gambling: The Social Context of 'Gambling Careers' carried out by Gerda Reith, Professor of Social Science, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow. Together with findings from her earlier project 'Situating Problem Gambling: The Social Context of 'Gambling Careers' is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

2. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2010/11 is £218 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at www.esrc.ac.uk

3. Problem gambling is defined as behaviour that is out of control and that disrupts personal, family, financial and employment relations. It is linked to financial problems such as debt and bankruptcy, divorce, lost productivity, crime (such as theft and fraud), depression and suicide. It is estimated that approximately 3.5 million adults in Britain experience some difficulties with their gambling behaviour. More at Australian Government Productivity Commission

Press Office | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esrc.ac.uk

More articles from Business and Finance:

nachricht Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Business and Finance >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Comet or asteroid? Hubble discovers that a unique object is a binary

21.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Cnidarians remotely control bacteria

21.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?

21.09.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>