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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.


The aim was to establish whether there were significant differences between the two experimental conditions (that is whether a maximum of two or four adults from each household were invited to take part in the survey), which could have a detrimental effect on survey data quality and selection bias.

There was no discernible experimental condition effect on household response rates nor on duplications. However, there was a statistically significant difference in rates of adherence to participant-selection instructions with adherence among C2 (up to four adults) households being lower than in C1 households where up to two adults were invited to take part. This suggests that there was increased participant burden for the C2 households. However, both conditions showed that it was difficult to get all eligible adults to take part, particularly the final adult, and this was even more so when the number of eligible adults was increased.

It would be ‘worth’ this increased burden if it appeared that the C2 (up to four adults) condition performed better in minimising non-response among those who did not gamble. There is no evidence of this. In fact, to the contrary, there is evidence that those in C2 households who gambled did so on more activities (despite prevalence rates being similar) and that there is significant clustering of gambling behaviours among C2 households with three or four participants.

Recommendations for participant selection and reducing selection bias are detailed in the Recommendations section of this report.

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Prevalence of gambling behaviours
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