Social Media and Gambling – A growing concern


Social Media – where it all began

How strongly are gambling and social media linked in today’s society? Let’s begin by exploring social media. In its true form, social media has been around for approximately 40 years. One of the first social media sites which appeared in 1979 was ‘Usenet’ which had the most basic of functions, ‘in comparison to today’s social media platforms’. It allowed users to post news to newsgroups.

Throughout the decades, there have been a number of social media platforms developed and launched. Some were successful,  including ‘Six Degrees’ in the early days. Whereas in more recent years, ‘Facebook’, ‘Twitter’ and ‘Linkedin’ have become a bit of a household name to most.

Of course, this was not always the case. When social media launched in the USA around 14 years ago. It seemed of little interest to people with only 5% of the population using it and the rest of the world hadn’t a clue about it, ‘this was partly due to people’s lack of internet access’.

Another – Sign of the Times 

It’s incredible just how quickly this thing called ‘social media’ has infiltrated the lives of billions of people in such a short space of time. It has changed the way we do pretty much everything and I imagine for some of you, more likely the younger generation, you cannot remember a time before social media?


Social media continues to be an integral part of our lives. We use it on a daily basis, whether connecting with friends and family, play games or to access the news from around the globe.

It has evolved at such a rapid pace that its functionality has quickly expanded to allow us to do so much more in recent years. Overall and perhaps, most importantly, it is there for us to entertain ourselves. There are around 2.6 billion people globally, who use social media in today’s society.

Initially, ‘Facebook’ was created to ‘make the world more connected.’  One of its mission statements is that –

People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family. To discover what’s going on in the world, and share and express what matters to them’.

Social Media – A Big Business

Nowadays, we have access to a continual stream of news, updates and information from people around the world. Platforms can provide us with an insight into the lives of some of the worlds most famous and influential people whether in business or the world of entertainment.

As mentioned above, just over a decade ago this wouldn’t have been conceivable.

This phenomenon called ‘social media’ has had an enormous impact on how businesses in all industries, have been able to construct their audiences. Prior to setting up GCS, I would honestly admit, as I am sure my business partner would agree, that I was a bit of a social media recluse. However, I soon came to realise its importance in the world of business. In 2018 the top 4 industries which dominated social media included Hospitality, Manufacturing, Pharmaceutical and finally the Finance industry.

Social Media & Gambling

The Gambling Commission reported in May of 2019 that 14.5 billion was the gross gambling yield (GGY) of the Great Britain gambling industry (Oct 17-Sept 18). This was an overall decrease of 0.4% from figures reported in the previous year (Apr 17-Mar 18). However, the figures show that there was a 2.9% increase of GGY within the remote sector amounting to 5.6 billion.

Gambling and Social Media groups – Online gambling innovations are really gathering pace, as gaming, gambling and social media can be so interlinked which comes under the umbrella term of “social gaming”.

Facebook gaming is a huge business with companies like Zynga getting millions from selling virtual rewards and in-game features. Slotamania is one of the most popular facebook gambling games and has approximately 40 million players from around the world. There is a real social aspect to these games which allows players to see which of there friends are members and regularly suggests that the player can send gifts or make contact with other users. This can sometimes lead to individuals developing social media groups specifically linked to gambling. These groups can have thousands of users and people often share gambling tips, reviews knowledge and news. To my knowledge, there are no restrictions on who can join the group which is increasingly worrying when we look at how many people of all ages who access social media and are problem gamblers or at risk of developing a gambling problem.

The Remote Sector

What is the remote sector or remote gambling? In lamens terms:- The remote sector can include anything from remote betting, bingo and the casino sector. ‘Remote gambling’ is defined as gambling in which persons participate in the use of ‘remote communication’. This definition includes the internet, telephone, television or radio and ‘any of electronic or other technology for facilitating communication’.


Gambling – A Public Health Concern

Research and studies highlight quite clearly that gambling and its related harms are becoming more prevalent in today’s society. Social media has grown at a phenomenal pace and problem gambling is an ever-increasing concern.

Problem gambling is a growing epidemic which continues to affect millions of individuals of all ages in the UK and globally.

The frequency and styles of gambling have changed significantly in recent years. There is much easier access to the internet for young and old alike.

The Gambling Commission completed a study in November 2018. This reported that 14% of 11-16 ear olds gambled in the week prior to completing the study totalling 450,000 children. Consider for a moment that these are the children who took part, what about the children who didn’t?

Please take a moment to absorb the above information… now think about the existing 450,000 reported cases of adult problem gamblers in the UK and how social media is influencing our youth.

My question is ‘What does the future hold’?

If you are worried about your gambling or someone else’s gambling and how it’s affecting you, we can help.


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