Gambling participation and prevalence of problem gambling


The Gambling Commission has a responsibility under the Gambling Act 2005 to provide advice to the government on gambling issues. As such, we need to keep up-to-date on all areas of gambling research

We draw on information gathered as part of our licensing and regulatory activities, and work closely with partners such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the National Lottery Commission to contribute to a national body of gambling-related research.

Our gambling research programme

The Gambling Commission undertakes research to monitor participation in gambling and the prevalence of problem gambling in Great Britain. This was previously monitored by the British Gambling Prevalence Surveys which were conducted in 1999, 2007 and 2010.

Following the Commission’s Collecting Adult Gambling Prevalence Data consultation - September 2010, we have now moved towards a ‘decoupled’ approach to the collection of adult gambling prevalence data (ie the separate collection of participation and problem gambling data).

The two component parts to this approach are:

The Scottish Health Survey, published by the Scottish Government, includes a chapter on gambling for the first time.  The data provides the most robust information to date on gambling participation and problem gambling in Scotland and is a useful baseline for any future changes in gambling activity in Scotland. The Health Survey for England reported on 18 December, 2013.

In 2014 we will draw together the results from both surveys to produce a compendium report.  For continuity purposes this will report in a manner consistent with the previous British Gambling Prevalence Surveys as far as practicably possible.

Population surveys represent only one part of the current research effort into gambling but they are an important aspect. That’s why we will be monitoring the effectiveness of the decoupled approach closely in learning any further lessons about the best way to effectively collect population data on gambling.

Page last reviewed: December 2013


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