Understanding the impact of increased cost of living on gambling behaviour
This section looks at the potential motivations of gamblers for gambling during the surveyed time of increased cost of living. Respondents who had previously said that they had either increased or decreased their behaviours were asked to think about why they have chosen to gamble in the last 12 months and then asked to rate their level of agreement with four statements that describe financial motivations. The motivations surveyed have been narrowed down to help determine the impact of increased cost of living on gambling and is not an exhaustive list of potential motivations for gambling overall.
Incidence of using gambling to either regularly supplement income on a regular basis, to help pay household bills, to pay for luxuries, or to offset loans or debt is low overall. Amongst gamblers who had reported a change in at least one gambling behaviour, between 8 and 9 percent had reported ‘using gambling to supplement their income on a regular basis’ and ‘using gambling to pay for luxuries they would not normally buy’ (9 percent each wave). Similarly, between 5 and 7 percent reported to ‘use gambling to pay for household bills’) and ‘to help offset loans and/or credit card debt’ (5 percent each wave). All motivations remained stable between wave 1 and wave 3.
However, online gamblers reported notably higher levels of agreement with each statement compared to gamblers overall, particularly with ‘using gambling to supplement their income on a regular basis’ (14 and 19 percent for waves 1 and 3) and ‘using gambling to pay for luxuries they wouldn’t normally buy’ (16 percent for waves 1 and 3). This effect was led by those scoring between 1 and 2 on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Furthermore, those who scored 8 or more on the PGSI demonstrated even stronger levels of agreement across all four statements.
Table 4.1: Motivations for gambling (gamblers)5
|Motivations for gambling
NET: Agree or Strongly Agree
(versus previous wave)
|I use gambling to supplement my income on a regular basis||8%||9%||No significant differences|
|I use gambling to help pay household bills||5%||7%||No significant differences|
|I use gambling to pay for luxuries I would not normally buy||9%||9%||No significant differences|
|I use gambling to help offset loans and/or credit card debt||5%||5%||No significant differences|
Table 4.1 information
Question 18. Thinking about why you have gambled in the last 12 months (wave 1), since February 2023 (wave 3), to what extent do you agree with the following statements?
Base: All those who’s gambling behaviours increased or decreased wave 1 and wave 3; Gamblers last 4 weeks (664 and 666).
5 This question was asked only to wave 1 and wave 3.
Cost of living on gambling behaviour: Impact of cost of living on gambling behaviours Next section
Cost of living on gambling behaviour: Conclusions
Last updated: 10 October 2023
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