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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.


Broadly, respondents are aligned on their levels of financial comfort and concerns, and their wellbeing as it relates to the increase in cost of living, regardless of their gambling status. That is to say, gamblers overall are as likely as all respondents to have looked for ways to make their income go further and have moderate levels of concern about their finances while also feeling grateful for their situation compared to others. However, while directionally in line with gamblers overall, online gamblers and those who score 8 or more on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) appear to have felt the negative impacts of increased cost of living on their financial security and wellbeing more strongly.

Has the rise in cost of living had a mediating effect on gambling behaviour?

Initial quantitative evidence suggests that the rise in cost of living does not appear to have had a mediating effect on most gamblers’ gambling behaviours, with most behaviours staying the same as they were 12 months ago when asked in each wave of tracking. In contrast, the small proportion of those who have made changes to their gambling behaviours are more likely to have decreased them than increased them. Those scoring 8 or more on the PGSI are the exception to this trend, where they are more likely to have increased their gambling behaviours than other groups.

Further analysis looking at longitudinal changes in gambling behaviour overtime will be included as part of the final report.

Has the rise in cost of living negatively impacted vulnerabilities for some consumers?

A small minority of gamblers who said that they have changed at least one of the surveyed gambling behaviours have reported to use gambling to support their finances in some way, but a greater proportion report doing this amongst online gamblers and those who scored 8 or more on the PGSI. Respondents within these groups who have either increased or decreased their gambling behaviours point to the rise in cost of living as at least partially the reason for these changes.

Where possible, a longitudinal view of the reported impact of cost of living will be analysed and reported on in the final report.

Further quantitative analysis exploring the impact of increased cost of living across different demographic groups as well as longitudinal analyses will be included in the final report. This will also be accompanied by key findings from the qualitative phase of this research – this was designed to further explore the quantitative findings with the goal of providing further context around reported attitudes and behaviours and to explore some of the wider contextual factors which may have impacted upon behaviour.

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Cost of living on gambling behaviour: Gambling motivations
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Cost of living on gambling behaviour: Appendix
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