‘Risky Places?’: Mapping Gambling Machine Density and Socio-Economic Deprivation
The aims of this project were to map the location and density of gambling machines in Britain; to explore whether geographic areas with higher densities of machines exist and to examine the socio-economic characteristics of these areas relative to others. Using geospatial analysis of premises records, we identified 8861 Machine Zones which were areas with a 400 meter radius around gambling machine venue and 384 High Density Machine Zones (HDMZ) with 1 or more gambling machine per hectare. There was a significant correlation between machine density and socio-economic deprivation. HDMZs had greater levels of income deprivation, more economically inactive people and a younger age profile than other areas; 37 % of those living in HDMZs were economically inactive compared with 33 % of those in non-machine areas. HDMZs were in seaside locations but also New Towns or satellite towns to major urban areas. Area affluence explains some of this pattern; of the New Towns with HDMZs, 78 % were in New Towns with a high proportion of low income areas. We therefore concluded that the distribution of gambling machines in Great Britain, in line with other international jurisdictions, displays a significant association with areas of socio-economic deprivation. The profile of the resident population living in HDMZs mirrors the profile of those most at-risk of experiencing harm from gambling. This spatial pattern has important implications for assessing the relationship between gambling availability and gambling-related harm, and for the future development of policy, harm-prevention and treatment strategies.
KeywordsGreat Britain Gambling Public health GIS analysis Health and place Inequalities
- Abbott, M., Volberg, R., Bellringer, M., & Reith, G. (2004). A review of research on aspects of problem gambling: Final report. Auckland: AUT University.Google Scholar
- Chuang, Y. C., Cubbin, C., Ahn, D., Winkleby, M. A. (2005). Effects of neighbourhood socioeconomic status and convenience store concentration on individual level smoking. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, doi:10.1136/jech.2004.029041.
- Department for Culture, Media and Sport. (2005). Gambling Act: 2005. London.Google Scholar
- Gambling Commission. Industry Statistics 2011. Birmingham: Gambling Commission.Google Scholar
- GamCare. (2010). Statistics 2009/2010. http://www.gamcare.org.uk/publications.php. Accessed 27 March 2012.
- Harman, H. (2011). The problem of betting shops blighting our high street. http://www.harrietharman.org/uploads/d2535bc1-c54e-6114-a910-cce7a3eff966.pdf. Accessed 25 Jan 2012.
- Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. (2005). Planning policy statement 6: Planning for town centres. London: Annex A.Google Scholar
- Robitaille, E., & Herjean, P. (2008). An analysis of the accessibility of video lottery terminals: The case on Montreal. International Journal of Health Geographics. doi:10.1186/1476-072X-7-2.
- Storer, J., & Stubbs, J. (2007). Submission to statutory review of the gaming machines Act 2001. Sydney.Google Scholar
- Wardle, H., Keily, R., Thurstain-Goodwin, M., Astbury, G. (2011a). Machines Research 1: Mapping the social and economic characteristics of high density machine locations. Responsible Gambling Fund (Available from authors on request).Google Scholar
- Wardle, H., Moody, A., Spence, S., Orford, J., Volberg, R., Griffiths, M., et al. (2011b). British gambling prevalence survey 2010. London: The Stationery Office.Google Scholar