Gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling survey: Experimental statistics stage
Gambling Commission report produced by NatCen on the experimental statistics stage of the gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling survey.
- Executive summary
- Methodology and response
- Testing an alternative approach to the selection of participants within households
- Measuring gambling-related harms
- Testing different approaches to asking questions about gambling participation
Comparison of gambling participation across the three approaches
You can view tables referenced in this section by downloading the file Tables A1 to A48 - Gambling Survey - Experimental statistics stage (XLSX)
This section looks at whether there was a difference in the reporting of gambling participation across the three approaches. It also looks at whether the approaches performed differently across the two data collection modes (online and postal, see the Questionnaire content and design section of this report).
The types of gambling participation reported, the number of activities those who gambled had participated in and which activities were most commonly mentioned were also reviewed.
Differences which are statistically significant at the five percent level are identified as such in the text. Some observed differences which did not reach this level of statistical significance are nonetheless included if they indicate a pattern; these are clearly identified in the text as not statistically significant.
Participation in any gambling activity in the last 12 months
In total, 63 percent of participants reported that they had participated in any gambling activity in the last 12 months. Those asked the hierarchical-list approach were less likely to report that they had spent money gambling in the last 12 months compared with those asked the long-list or the chunked-list approaches: 59 percent compared with 64 and 65 percent respectively. These differences were statistically significant.
For past year gambling, there was a higher participation rate among those who completed the survey online (64 percent) compared with those completing a postal questionnaire (59 percent). The lowest participation rate occurred amongst the hierarchical-list approach (61 percent for online completions and 54 percent for postal completions compared with 67 percent and 60 percent for the long-list approach and, for the chunked-list approach, 65 percent and 64 percent). These differences were statistically significant (Table A.35, Proportion having spent money on gambling activities in the last 12 months, by questions approach and mode of completion).
A statistically significant higher proportion of men (66 percent) than women (60 percent) reported having gambled in the last 12 months. For men, 68 per cent of those asked the chunked-list, 67 percent of those asked the long-list and 62 percent of those asked the hierarchical-list reported gambling in the last 12 months. The percentages for women were 62 percent, 61 percent and 55 percent respectively. However, differences between men and women for the types of participation questions they were asked did not reach statistical significance.
The lower reported rate of gambling participation amongst those asked the hierarchical-list set of questions was anticipated. When individual gambling activities are grouped together, the loss of visual prompts about specific types of gambling activity results in lower reporting of gambling activities (Table A.36, Proportion having spent money on gambling activities in the last 12 months, by questions approach and sex).
During analysis, individual gambling activities were grouped into eight higher-level categories:
- instant win games
- casino games
- fruit and/or slot machine games
- other gambling activities.
There were no statistically significant differences between the three approaches for participation (such as having spent money on) in any grouped activities in the last 12 months, but the most commonly mentioned activities for all three approaches were lotteries (between 48 percent and 52 percent), scratchcards (between 20 percent and 26 percent) and betting (between 15 percent and 20 percent) (Table A.37, Proportion having spent money on grouped gambling activities in the last 12 months, by questions approach).
Money spent on gambling activity
Those who had gambled in the last 12 months were asked which gambling activities (grouped) they had spent money on in the last four weeks. Again, there were no statistically significant differences between the approaches but the two most commonly mentioned activities across all three were the same as those mentioned for the last 12 months: lotteries (between 81 percent and 83 percent) and scratchcards (between 26 percent and 33 percent). The third most frequently mentioned activity among those asked the hierarchical-list approach was instant wins (mentioned by 20 percent). For the other two approaches, the third most frequently mentioned activity participated in in the last four weeks was betting (14 percent for the long-list approach and 18 percent for the chunked-list approach).
In the long-list and chunked-list list approaches, participants were presented with descriptions of different types of betting as part of the question. These descriptions did not form part of the question presented to participants in the hierarchical-list approach (Table A.38, Proportion having spent money on grouped gambling activities in the last four weeks, by questions approach).
The average number of gambling activities participated in over the last 12 months was 1.3, with significant differences between the three approaches (1.2 for those asked the hierarchical-list, 1.2 for those asked the chunked-list and 1.4 for those asked the long-list). A higher proportion of long-list participants reported taking part in three or more grouped gambling activities (21 percent compared with 18 percent for the hierarchal list and 16 percent for the chunked-list).
One potential reason for the lower number of grouped gambling activities for the chunked-list is that the continual switching between answering questions about gambling participation in the last 12 months and the last four weeks may have caused confusion and resulted in the lower reporting of some gambling activities (Table A.39, Number of grouped gambling activities spent money on in the last 12 months, by questions approach).Previous section
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Potential primacy effect with the long-list approach
Last updated: 18 April 2023
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