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Understanding the impact of increased cost of living on gambling behaviour

Gambling Commission report with Yonder to understand the behaviours and motivations of gamblers during the period of high cost of living in Great Britain.

Summary of findings

Financial comfort and concerns, and wellbeing

In the context of increased cost of living, most individuals surveyed have signalled the need to take steps to make their income go further, but broader concerns about personal finances are most pronounced amongst online gamblers and those who scored 8 or more on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Despite this, a majority of the individuals surveyed have also indicated their gratitude for their current situation compared to others, and to a lesser extent, a degree of optimism about their financial comfort and the future.

Changes in gambling behaviours

Gamblers were most likely to report that their gambling behaviours, including the amount of time and money spent, the number of gambling occasions, and their typical stake placed, had stayed the same despite the rise in cost of living. However, those who did report changes, particularly online gamblers, were more likely to have reported a decrease in these behaviours. Conversely, respondents who had scored 8 or more on the PGSI were the most likely to report an increase in of the surveyed gambling behaviours throughout tracking.

Motivations for gambling

Amongst gamblers who reported either a decrease or an increase in at least one of the surveyed gambling behaviours (spend, time, stake or occasions), up to 1 in 10 consistently reported using gambling to bolster their finances (for example, to supplement income on a regular basis). However, use of gambling to bolster finances is notably more common amongst online gamblers, between 1 in 10 to 1 in 5, and significantly more so amongst those who had scored 8 or more on the PGSI.

Additionally, a clear majority of gamblers said that changes in behaviour were at least partially a direct result of increases in the cost of living; around 1 in 5 said that their changes were entirely due to increased cost of living. This was also observed amongst online gamblers.

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Cost of living on gambling behaviour: Methodology
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Cost of living on gambling behaviour: Financial comfort and concerns around cost of living
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