Monday, October 09, 2006


Gamblertainment is entertainment that centres around risking the loss of money for a possible gain. The main areas of gamblertainment are casinos, bingo, bookmakers, amusement arcades, and live racing venues with major gambling facilities e.g. York Race Course.

These can be entered into the Recreation Matrix as follows:

‘In 1999, it was estimated that there were between 185,000 and 460,000 problem gamblers in the UK. Some individuals become obsessed by gambling to the point at which they cease to function as normal members of society, they may do great harm not only to themselves but also to their families and cause wider social and economic harm’ (DCMS, 2005).

In 2004, a study into gambling participation, commissioned by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and conducted by the survey company NOP found that over 70% of adults gamble (including participation in the National Lottery). Gambling expenditure (i.e. stakes less winnings) in the year ending 31 March 2004 is estimated at £8,875 million, which equates to 0.8% of UK GDP. In the UK the gambling industry employs approximately 100,000 full time equivalents (DCMS, 2005).

The Gambling Act (2005) has been introduced in order to help better regulate the gambling industry and make it as a whole become more accessible. This has drawn in major investment from abroad such as; Australia based Publishing and Broadcasting (PBL) agreeing a £36.3m deal to acquire a 46% stake in Aspinalls UK casino business (Aspers); HARRAH'S Entertainment, (the world's largest gaming company) striking a £279.3 million deal to buy London Clubs International; and Malaysian entertainment group Genting agreeing to buy UK Casino operator Stanley Leisure for £639m.

The Gambling Act (2005) has three overarching objectives:
* to prevent gambling being a source of crime and disorder;
* to ensure that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and;
* to protect children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

Whether you are an advocate of gamblertainment or not, there is no denying that it is a significant contributor to the UK economy, and despite ethical considerations around gambling addiction, that gamblertainment will grow with further new establishments (including huge ‘Resort Casinos’) opening.

Source: Department for Culture, Media and Sport. (2005) Gambling Act: Regulatory Impact Assessment. [Internet] URL available from: Accessed 7th October 2006.

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