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Matt Webster - Senior Manager, Insight

In this time of accelerated digital growth, the world we all live in is changing beyond all recognition. Gambling, and people who gamble, are influenced more than ever by broader trends outside the sector.

The rise of online casinos, smartphone apps and 4G networks has made gambling more accessible than ever before. In turn this has made it even more important for us at the Gambling Commission to hear the voice of consumers to help us understand the impacts of all these developments on the way they gamble.

We already conduct a programme of consumer surveys, which generate statistics about consumer gambling participation, problem gambling rates and trends, giving us a solid understanding of how many people gamble, what they gamble on, the products, and who chooses to gamble.

But to better understand how gambling fits into people’s lives we commissioned in-depth qualitative research including considering general lifestyles, hobbies, aspirations and routines. The research used a variety of techniques including digital diaries, immersive in-depth interviews and focus groups – in all engaging with over 100 participants.

This new research will be important as we continue to develop the way we regulate. However, we will also be sharing the findings of the research in a series of blogs to encourage interested parties to consider and discuss the fresh perspectives offered.

Linked to this blog you can find the first output - the key themes emerging from the research, including how:

  • Most people perceive their own gambling behaviour as ‘normal’ and see others as at risk of problems
  • Gambling attitudes shift slowly but behaviour shows greater variation over time. This is a result of shifting from a cold state of consideration into a hot state of play. Most people aim to gamble responsibly, but can still be vulnerable to occasional hot state episodes of play
  • Responsibility for safer gambling is felt to sit across consumers, gambling companies and Government alike
  • Safer gambling strategies need to consider the nature of hot state play

We hope these new blogs will be informative and create conversation about how future developments in the gambling industry can deliver fairer and safer gambling. We welcome feedback on this or other topics and those wishing to ask further questions can email askengagement@gamblingcommission.gov.uk

For further reflections on this blog click on the below links: 

Reflection 1: Most people perceive their own gambling behaviour as ‘normal’ and perceive vulnerable others as at risk of problems

Reflection 2: Gambling attitudes shift slowly but behaviour varies over time

Reflection 3: Most people aim to gamble safely, but can still be vulnerable to occasional ‘hot state’ episodes of play

Reflection 4: Responsibility for safer gambling is felt to sit across consumers, gambling companies and Government alike

Reflection 5: Safer gambling strategies need to consider the nature of ‘hot state’ play

Read research agency 2CV's PowerPoint presentation for a more detailed version of this research.

Posted on 15 July 2019