Gambling companies are looking to stiff their customers and offer products that can harm family life. This assessment may seem harsh but it reflects the perception of the sector by the UK public.

People’s attitudes towards gambling are becoming increasingly negative. The figures are at the worst since the UK Gambling Commission began monitoring public opinion of the industry in 2008. Just 34 per cent of the British public think that gambling is fair and can be trusted, representing a drop of almost 50 per cent from 2008. More than two-thirds of those surveyed (69 per cent) believe gambling is dangerous to family life.

Based on the Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale (ATGS), which assesses attitudes based on eight criteria, gambling achieves a total score of 21.5. The scale awards scores of between eight and 40 points based on the questions, with 24 being considered neutral. Anything below 24, the Commission says, represents an overall negative view of gambling. These figures refer to the UK market but they indicate a problem for the wider industry.

That gambling provokes such distrust in a jurisdiction governed by one of the industry’s most liberal regulatory regimes should be a major concern.

What happens when anti gambling campaigners can point to a worsening public image to support their criticism of the industry?

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