The scale of Britain’s gambling epidemic was laid bare today in a shocking study that linked problem betting with early death

The scale of Britain’s gambling epidemic was laid bare today in a shocking study that linked problem betting with early death.

The Oxford University research found that more than half a million Britons are spending £900 a month on their habit – and 200,000 are paying out more than £1,800.

The study also showed the devastating impact on the health of those who bet more than they can afford and get into financial trouble.

A gambler who spent 30 per cent of their available income on gambling was a third more likely to die within five years than a non-gambler.

Even someone gambling a tenth of their income was 12 per cent more likely to die over the same period, the study found.

Naomi Muggleton, the lead researcher at Oxford, said: ‘The fact there is a relationship between gambling and mortality, especially at higher levels, is shocking.It suggests there is a need for public health interventions.’

A study from Oxford University has revealed the extent of Britain's gambling problem in greater detail than ever before as problem gambling is linked to early death for the first time

A study from Oxford University has revealed the extent of Britain’s gambling problem in greater detail than ever before as problem gambling is linked to early death for the first time

Chris Bruney, a high-flying engineer pictured (centre) with girlfriend Fran Green (right) and parents Judith and Lloyd Bruney, took his own life at 25 after developing a gambling addiction

Chris Bruney, a high-flying engineer pictured (centre) with girlfriend Fran Green (right) and parents Judith and Lloyd Bruney, took his own life at 25 after developing a gambling addiction

The findings will fuel calls for accommodation-wanaka tighter regulation of the betting industry, something the Daily Mail has long fought for with its Stop The Gambling Predators campaign.

Former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith, said: ‘This is a devastating indictment of gambling companies’ behaviour.

‘It demonstrates quite clearly how they have encouraged problem gamblers to spend more.

<div class="art-ins mol-factbox floatRHS news" data-version="2" id="mol-e1da2340-6731-11eb-90a9-091f00814f28" website addicts are more likely to die early, research shows