2022 is proving to be a year in which the cost of living in the UK is steadily rising. A worrying trend is that many people are now turning to gambling to try and win money to help them pay their rising bills.

This development greatly concerns the leader of the Welsh Trades Union Congress (TUC) Shavanah Taj. While the UK government has revealed plans to help people cope with the increased cost of living, many feel that more needs to be done.

People are having to make the choice whether to buy food or pay their gas and electricity bills. The Welsh TUC leader said that recent weeks have seen the trade union be informed of drastic measures being taken to try and cope. 

“We've actually been hearing from people who were saying that they are dealing with personal cases from [trade union] members who've begun gambling as a means to try and pay off a gas or electric bill." Others – including those of pensionable age- are having to return to work.

The fear is of course that the attempts to win extra money by gambling will not be successful. If those attempting to do this do not place winning bets, then all they are doing is losing money and increasing their debts. It’s a situation that was faced when we had to spend more time at home and gambling levels rose.

If they then begin to chase their losses, the situation can swiftly become even more difficult simply adding to their problems.

While there are those who are gambling to raise additional funds to pay bills, others aren’t. March 2022 saw the results of a survey carried out by YoGov published. 700 UK gamblers who are likely to play at top rated online casinos using latest offers, were questioned for the survey that was commissioned by the Department of Trust (DoTrust). They were asked how the rise in inflation was going to affect the way in which they gambled.

18 per cent of UK gamblers said they would stop placed bets in the coming months. 32 per cent planned to reduce how much they would be gambling. When asked why this would be the case, the majority said that the rising inflation figure was the reason.

Others said there had been a change in their personal circumstances, while “different priorities” was also a determining factor. Of the 700 gamblers that took part in the survey, 11 per cent said the rising costs had “badly” affected their habits and it was becoming a struggle to pay expenses and bills.

However, 49 per cent of those asked said that the rising cost of living would not affect their gambling at all. The same level of bets would continue to be placed. Only 1 per cent said that they were considering increasing the amount they gambled. 

35 per cent of respondents said that they did set a budget for how much they gamble. However, that leaves 65 per cent who don’t.

The chief executive and founder of DoTrust is Charles Cohen. He said that the results of the survey show that the gambling industry must recognise the fact that their customers may find it more difficult to afford how much they gamble.

“Inflation is at levels not seen for decades and this is translating into a fast moving affordability crisis for the gambling industry,” said Mr Cohen. He stressed the importance of gambling companies accessing more “real-time financial data.”