In a bid to better understand how the problem is leading to crime, ten police forces in the UK are now routinely screening suspects for signs of gambling addiction - as is already the case for drug and alcohol addiction. As reported by The Guardian, an additional seven forces also plan to implement the practice this year.
As quantified by Public Health England in a report published in September 2021, one of the multitude of harms caused by gambling in the UK is an estimated £163 million in costs to the government due to criminal activity related to the addiction.
When looking at direct costs to the government however, the negative mental and physical health effects of gambling by far outweigh the costs related to crime. When accounting for the intangible costs felt across the country, the total invoice for society comes to an annual sum of £961 million. Factoring in the effects on employment and education as well as financial costs (related chiefly to homelessness), the total cost of harms associated with gambling is £1.3 billion every year.