- GambleAware study found that those experiencing gambling harms are more likely to own crypto assets
- The charity warns that crypto investment can have the same harmful consequences as gambling
- Some MPs are pushing for crypto trading to be treated as gambling
New research from GamCare has identified a link between harmful gambling and cryptocurrency investment. The study found that those dealing with gambling harms are more likely to own cryptocurrency compared to the general population.
The charity has warned people engaged in crypto investment that the practice can have essentially the same impact as gambling due to the high volatility of crypto markets.
Crypto Investment Similar to Gambling
Conducted by YouGov, the study involved a survey of 4,200 adults, of which 40% lost money on cryptocurrency, compared to 34% who profited from it. Analyzing the data, GamCare concluded that individuals with gambling issues have a higher probability of owning cryptocurrency than the general population (51% vs. 11%).
The study highlights the association between crypto investment and gambling, with both activities having the same potential negative consequences.
As stated by GamCare’s financial harm manager Raminta Diliso, many people view cryptocurrency investment as a “get-rich-quick” opportunity. Crypto investors tend to chase the rush as values go up and down rapidly, and this can lead to serious harm if left uncontrolled. Some of those contacting the National Gambling Helpline in recent years have reported experiencing problems related to cryptocurrency trading, Diliso stated.
Should Crypto Trading be Treated like Gambling?
The link between cryptocurrency investment and gambling has been a hot topic in the UK over the past few years.
As the government looks to introduce major gambling reforms, some MPs have floated the idea of regulating crypto trading in the same manner as gambling.
Earlier this year, the House of Commons Treasury Committee recommended treating crypto trading like gambling, citing the high volatility of crypto assets and the potential for customers to lose their entire investment. However, it also took into account recommendations by Ian Taylor of CryptoUK that crypto assets must be recognized as a new investment class rather than classified as a form of gambling.
The Treasury Committee’s proposal did not push through, as the government eventually declined to treat crypto trading as a form of gambling.
Reacting to the findings of the new GambleAware research, Harriett Baldwin MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, maintained that trading of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, is akin to gambling which are also used as payments at online casinos. Emphasizing the importance of raising awareness about the dangers associated with the practice, Baldwin reminded customers that just like gambling, they could lose all their money to crypto trading.