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Gambling Survey for Great Britain - technical report

Gambling Survey for Great Britain - technical report

  1. Contents
  2. Introduction


This technical report provides detail on the background and methodology for Year 1 of the Gambling Survey for Great Britain (GSGB). Detail on the issued sample size, response and weighting strategy for each wave is provided in the wave-specific report. The wave-specific reports also provide detail of the online and postal questionnaires used in that wave.


Year 1 of the GSGB follows a period of development which has consisted of a pilot and experimental stage. Findings from the pilot were published in May 2022 and are reported in Participation and Prevalence: Pilot methodology review report. Two reports on findings from the experimental phase have been published. The first report, covering the first two steps, was published in April 2023 Gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling survey: Experimental statistics stage report. A further report, covering the final step, was published in November 2023 Gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling survey: Final experimental statistics stage (Step 3). Following the completion of the experimental phase, the survey moved to continuous official statistics data collection in July 2023.

Survey objectives

The aims of the GSGB are to:

  • collect data on a wide range of gambling behaviours, including participation and the impact of gambling (both positive and negative) from 20,000 individuals aged 18 years and over annually
  • provide a rolling programme of data collection to give the Gambling Commission the ability to gain timely insights and respond to emerging trends
  • produce and publish gambling participation and prevalence statistics as official statistics, in accordance with the standards set out by the Government Statistical Service in the Code of Practice for Statistics (opens in new tab).

Survey design

The GSGB uses what is known as a push-to-web approach, in which people are first encouraged to take part online, completing a web questionnaire. Those who do not initially take part online are subsequently offered an alternative means of participation. In the GSGB this alternative was a paper questionnaire, sent by post. By offering an alternative, the survey can include people who are not online or who do not feel willing or able to go online to take part. This helps improve the representativeness of the survey. Moreover, some gambling behaviours, notably the propensity to gamble online, are correlated with the probability to take part in online surveys, which can bias results1.

Inviting people to take part in the GSGB involved randomly selecting addresses within Great Britain, known as random probability sampling. This approach is discussed further in the next section.


1Sturgis, P., & Kuha, J. (2022). How survey mode affects estimates of the prevalence of gambling harm: a multisurvey study. Public Health, 204, 63-69.

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