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The engagement has brought a wealth of fresh thinking, perspective and advice borne out of experience. Our challenge is balance this within the limits of questionnaire space and length and the Gambling Commission’s focus and budget. A number of the findings also have significant implications for future development work needed for this survey.

1. Core priority areas for the survey

A wide range of new topics have been suggested to include in the future survey, but it will not be possible to include them all.

The push to web methodology, currently being trialled means that some data will be collected via an online survey and some via a postal questionnaire - this raises challenges about the consistency of information collected across the two formats.

The questionnaire also needs to be balanced and offer reasons for those who don’t gamble to engage in the survey. Maintaining the broad appeal of the survey is critical to reducing the risk of producing biased estimates of behaviours.

2. Gambling activities

A decision on the level of granularity on gambling behaviours is required. It would be possible to expand the list of gambling activities undertaken to generate more information on mode and location of gambling (i.e. asking about slots played in a bingo hall, in an amusement arcade etc). However, unless overall sample sizes are very large, this may result in sample sizes too small for specific analysis, limiting their usefulness. Therefore, these decisions need to be made alongside consideration of overall sample sizes and analysis needs.

3. Gambling expenditure

There was wide support from survey respondents to collect more detail on how much money people spend on each individual gambling activity however there are methodological issues with capturing this sort of data via surveys. The Commission will need to weigh up these methodological approaches carefully and consider what other methods could capture this insight going forward.

4. Harms questions

There was broad support for the inclusion of questions about gambling harms, both to oneself and to others. The Commission has begun the development of a set of harms questions which will be included in the pilot survey. Further development work will be required to test and validate these questions for inclusion in the future survey.

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