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UK News

"We need to pray for justice for vulnerable" as report shows people in most deprived areas are twice as likely to participate in online gambling

by Alex Collett

People from the most deprived areas of Britain are twice as likely to participate in online gambling. 

The report - for charity GambleAware - says those players are also more likely to suffer heavy losses.

It found the top ten percent of active accounts resulted in seventy-nine percent of the industry's revenue.

Christian Charity CARE and other organisations have long warned that gambling laws in the UK are simply not fit for purpose. 

A White Paper on the reform is expected this month, after a series of delays. 

The shape of this paper will dictate how significant any changes to legislation are.

Jamie Giles, from CARE told Premier Christian News what the possible temptations are: "Some factors which might be making a difference includes the proliferation of bookies. 

"In more deprived areas in the country, you might say that's because real estate's a bit cheaper and so you see certain areas of towns, having lots of bookmakers. 

"Of course, that means there's a bigger presence of gambling in certain areas and what we're seeing with this most recent report is people making big losses and things like online bingo, online bingo, and online casinos. 

"Of course, bingo halls, and other things are, can be more concentrated in certain areas as well. 

"So there's certainly that influencing factor."

Giles said people need to recognise that gambling addiction is something that which isn't isolated to a certain cohort of society; it affects people from all financial backgrounds. 

Giles said: "You have multimillionaires, millionaire sports people losing money, like footballers, who have gambled away their entire earnings, because they've been ravaged by gambling addiction."

Giles also said we need to be praying that government will implement the White Paper soon and to pray for people who need help: "Vulnerable problem gamblers who are not getting the help they need, who are at the mercy of predatory industry, which is driven by greed.

"Which puts profits before people, so we can pray that God will bring justice in that area to the vulnerable.

"It also be good to pray for Christians, as this issue will be presenting in congregations and Churches need to act with compassion and wisdom, in helping people who have developed an addiction to gambling and perhaps people in the wider community as well.

"So we hope that the Church will continue to be a voice and to act biblically in terms of helping the vulnerable."

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