A recent study has found that nearly one in three bingo club players have experienced a gambling problem of some kind.
One in nine of those surveyed were classed as being “moderate” or high risk gamblers.
The research was carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Responsible Gambling Trust who recently published their report into problem gambling in licensed bingo premises.
The report defined problem gambling as “gambling to a degree that compromises, disrupts or damages family, personal or recreational pursuits”.
Problem gambling was most prevalent among the unemployed and those on low incomes.
More than one in ten (11.2 per cent) of those surveyed who were unemployed were classed as problem gamblers, compared to 1.5 per cent of those working full time.
In the survey, 7.6 per cent of those earning under £10,000 p/a were classed as problem gamblers compared to just 0.8 per cent for those earning between £10,000-£20,199 per year.
The survey also revealed that of those identified as having a problem, just seven per cent sought professional help.
Of the £12.6 billion that Britons lost through gambling last year, £3.6 billion was lost to internet betting and online casino and bingo sites.
Miles Baron, chief executive of The Bingo Association, responded to the findings saying: “The Bingo Association has always taken its commitment to social responsibility very seriously and we felt it was important to support this new research.
“For The Bingo Association and our members, any individual with a problem is an individual too many.”
Ipsos MORI conducted 1,428 interviews for the study between 7-26 March after first undertaking 20 pilot interviews during the week of 18-21 February.