Why is gambling harm more prevalent for people experiencing homelessness?

Everyone who gambles is at risk of gambling harm, however, there are some people who can be more susceptible to harm. The gambling industry systematically targets areas with higher levels of deprivation and people who are experiencing poverty. For example, outside of London, Glasgow has the most bookies per person in the UK. Glasgow is not the second biggest city, but it is the most deprived city and local authority area in Scotland.

People who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness have high levels of digital exclusion, and they may participate in more traditional in-person gambling activities compared to online gambling. This can include purchasing scratchcards, going to the bingo or bookies or using puggies. The gambling industry exploits this through clustering (which is opening many betting shops in the same street), opening gambling premises beside busy bus or train stations, selling scratchcards in discount supermarkets or shops and increasing advertising in more deprived areas.

When you have ‘nothing’ it is easier to gamble everything in an attempt to get something.