Gambling harms are the negative impacts from gambling that can affect not just the person who gambles, but also their partners, wider families, friends, employers, work colleagues, communities and society as a whole.
While the effects of gambling harms can be varied—affecting finances, relationships, mental wellbeing and more—not to mention potentially devastating, it’s fair to say that across society as a whole, there is still a significant lack of understanding as to exactly how and why they happen, and what might be involved in any one person experiencing them.
For those in minority communities experiencing gambling harms, there can also be additional factors involved—many of which are even less well understood, and certainly less likely to be discussed, both within the community and beyond.
Leading market research company IPSOS has recently been looking into the relationship between gambling harms and minority communities in the UK, and their findings seem to back this up. For example, minority groups are less likely to gamble than the white majority population (31% v 48%), but if they do, are almost three times more likely to suffer gambling harms as a result (27% v 10%). They also found a differing emphasis around motivations, too, with minority participants aged 25-34 significantly more likely to view gambling as a coping mechanism than the white majority (30% v 6%).
Despite the impacts of gambling harms on minority communities, the research also speaks to a reluctance from those in them, to seek support. Among those who had actively or recently attempted to limit their gambling, nearly three in five minority community respondents (58%) had not sought any form of formal support for their gambling.
GambleAware are a charity who fund research, education and treatment services to help to reduce gambling harms in Great Britain, and have recently launched a major campaign aiming to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with gambling harms, and to encourage those suffering from them to seek support.
As part of this, and in the light of evidence of under-reporting in minority communities, GambleAware reached out to Complex to create some content exploring the topic of gambling harms within the Black community in the UK, in particular. To do this, we first reached out to our audience to hear first-hand experiences of gambling harms, and we are hugely grateful for all responses we received. They all informed our approach to the campaign and some appear in the film above as words spoken by actors.
For the film, we also brought together Bola Sol, Franklin Asante AKA The Urban Financier, Lewis Moses and Richie Brave, for an impactful, and overdue, conversation filled with valuable insights—from Bola emphasising the need to remove the stigma of shame, to Franklin explaining why “pride can be your most expensive outgoing”. You can check it out above.
For more information, head to begambleaware.org.