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Methodology

Quality assurance

All regulatory returns, society lottery submissions and National Lottery data are subject to quality assurance check for accuracy.

Each regulatory return is checked for accuracy and consistency with previous submissions and with data from the wider gambling industry. Part of this checking is to see whether the return has raised any flags with our automated systems for quality control. Each return is checked again during the preparation of the Gambling Industry Statistics. If issues are found with the data we will talk to the relevant licence holder, for example the gambling business.

We carry out a similar process for society lottery submissions, while National Lottery data – which we receive daily – is subject to separate quality assurance.

Limitations – Apportioning

Once licensed, gambling businesses determine their own dates for submitting returns. The Commission however use specific reporting periods. If these dates do not align, we use apportioning by calculating a daily rate from the return and multiply that figure by the amount of days (within that return) that are in the Commissions reporting period.

For example, our industry stats reporting period is 01 April 2018 – 31 March 2019 (365 days). An Operator has submitted 2 reg returns during this period:

  • For their reporting period 01 March 2018 – 28 February 2019 for £100 This return covers 334 days of the Commission’s reporting period. Therefore the £100 is divided by 365 (days in a year) and then multiplied by 334 = £91.50.

  • For their reporting period 01 March 2019 – 29 February 2020 for £150 This return covers 31 days of the Commission’s reporting period. Therefore the £150 is divided by 365 (days in a year) and then multiplied by 31 = £12.73.

We then add both figures together to obtain the apportioned figure for the operator over our reporting period. £91.50 + £12.73 = £104.23.

We do not apply apportioning to society lottery submissions, as we only include draws within the selected reporting period of the publication concerned. Similarly, National Lottery data is not apportioned as we receive daily data reporting.

Limitations - Estimating

We use estimating when regulatory returns are late, or when a return is not yet due for submission. For example, for a publication reporting period ending 31 March, all regulatory returns will not, potentially, be received by us until May the following year (e.g. if a licensee has a reporting period of March to February) We estimate a licensee’s values by using their last quarterly or annual return. We take that previous figure, calculate a daily rate and apportion it against the missing reporting period.

Limitations – Other

Where there may be limitations with the data we publish, these will be written within the publication alongside the data.

Provisional and revised statistics

There may be differences in the data in our industry statistics on each new publication due to our use of apportioning and estimating. We only update figures for the last three reporting periods. This means our statistics for the last three reporting periods should be considered provisional, meaning they could change in future publications.

Where we receive new data from operators (for example, a regulatory return covering a period for which we had used apportioning or estimating) we will update our data.

Unless any updates to the data create major changes to our statistics, the updated figures will be published in later scheduled publications of Gambling Industry Statistics (currently May and November annually). Sometimes, we may explain any data issues on Industry Statistics pages of our website.

For further information, please read the Official Statistics revisions and corrections policy (PDF opens in new tab) on our website.

Premises data

We do not use apportioning or estimations when calculating premises numbers as operators report to us the number of active premises at the time of completing their regulatory returns. Instead, premises numbers are calculated from the last regulatory return submitted to us before the reporting period used in our Industry Statistics.

Up to March 2012, data about the number and type of gambling premises data was given to us by local authorities. Data from this source was often incomplete. From March 2013 onwards, premises figures have been given to us by operators in regulatory returns, apart from Casino premises data which was taken from Casino Drop & Win data returns until 31 March 2015. Since April 2015 Casino premises data is now collected from regulatory returns. We don’t recommend comparing the data across the different data sources.

Data points

Our data is either based on the position at the end of the year concerned (for example 31 March 2019) or reflects an average of the values for dates falling within each 12-month period (for example 1 April 2018- 31 March 2019) We clearly state this in our publications.

Inflation

We do not adjust historic Gambling Industry Statistics figures for inflation.

Rounding

We calculate our totals and percentages from unrounded figures.

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