According to a recent report of Public Health England, Knowsley can be named the gambling capital of the UK. The reason for this title is that more people in the borough regularly gamble than residents anywhere else in the country. Out of a total of 19 areas that have indicated higher gambling activity rates, Knowsley takes the first place, with the borough reporting gambling levels that significantly surpass those of other areas.
It comes as no surprise that the borough has a high concentration of gambling individuals as it is known as an area dealing with multiple issues such as poverty and deprivation. These circumstances often lead to regular gambling and can even increase the potential gambling-related harm.
Nearly 80% of People in Knowsley Have Recently Participated in Gambling
According to the report, almost 80% of people residing in Knowsley have participated in some sort of gambling in the past 12 months. These estimates surpass the neighbouring areas of Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, and St Helens, indicating participation rates of respectively 68%, 67%, 65%, and 60%. While these areas have quite high figures, there are also boroughs that showed a gambling participation rate of merely 23%.
Even though there is no definite link between regular gambling and problem gambling, the report underlines that areas where individuals are socio-economically burdened usually have low participation rates but high harmful gambling figures.
Earlier this year, a three-year review of Knowsley’s gambling licence policy was discussed. The borough’s Council suggested a few amendments of the licencing process in the area, striving to reduce any potential gambling-related harm for residents of the borough. One of the suggestions included inspecting gambling facilities once every six months, instead of doing the inspections just once every year.
Gambling Harm in Knowsley Growing due to Combination of Deprivation and High Gambling Activity
As the borough of Knowsley is one of the most deprived areas in the country, the extremely high rates of gambling participation contribute to increasing harmful gambling in the borough. Out of all 34 licensed gambling facilities in Knowsley, 17 are located in Huyton, 11 in Kirkby, and the remaining six are in Halewood, Prescot, Whiston, and Stockbridge.
To further investigate which areas have the highest problem gambling rates, the Knowsley Council is looking to further investigate all the premises in the borough and locate the areas with the most potential harm for vulnerable individuals.
The borough’s cabinet is considering the proposals made in the report, helping them to ensure better protection for individuals in Knowsley. The Licensing service and Public Health department of the Council are putting effort into developing a detailed area profile of the borough, allowing them to indicate the regions with the biggest concentration of vulnerable individuals. The cabinet acknowledged the report which will go to full approval of the council on December 15. A more detailed report on the gambling activity and potential harm in the Knowsley borough is expected to be released by the spring season of next year.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.