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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.


Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used in this research, starting with a longitudinal survey taking place over three waves between December 2022 and June 2023. This was followed by qualitative depth interviews with individuals who took part in the quantitative phase to further understand the impact of the rise in cost of living on lifestyle and gambling behaviours.

Quantitative phase

The first wave of the quantitative phase employed a nationally representative 25-unit (around 12 to 13 minute survey) online Omnibus survey to establish a baseline of key gambling behaviours and explore the impact of external triggers pre-Christmas, 2022. This was followed by a 5 minute recontact survey post-Christmas period to capture changes in core gambling behaviours and was repeated in May after the 2023 energy price cap increase. Demographic differences and Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) scores were considered during the analysis and integrated when the sample sized allowed for a reliable reporting.

The initial wave consisted of a nationally representative online Omnibus survey of 2,065 adults aged 18 or over conducted between 21 to 22 December 2022. Quotas were set on age interlocked with gender, region, and ethnicity and the data was weighted to a known Great Britain (GB) profile. Amongst the nationally representative sample, 973 participants (47 percent) had engaged in a gambling activity in the last four weeks.

Wave 2 of the tracking took place between 27 February to 3 March 2023. Yonder recontacted 1,694 of the same total sample, of which 820 (48 percent) had engaged in gambling activity in the last four weeks. A total of 1,694 respondents took part in wave 1 and wave 2 of the survey.

Wave 3 of tracking took place between 26 May to 2 June 2023. Yonder recontacted 1,391 of the same total sample who took part in the previous wave, of which 666 (48 percent) had engaged in gambling activity in the last four weeks. A total of 1,391 respondents took part in all three waves of the survey (wave 1 to wave 3).

Qualitative phase

Qualitative interviews were undertaken online in August 2023 to build a more rounded impression and picture of each individual. Participants recorded videos and shared stories from their homes about themselves and places where they spend time.

The qualitative phase began with a three-day digital diary pre-task, with 16 participants, to capture details about themselves and to reflect upon any concerns, and anxieties they may have now, or in the future and to identify their monthly spending habits with a particular focus on identifying any cutbacks or savings they have had to make.

Depth interviews were then conducted to further develop a knowledge base around the impact of the rise in cost of living on gambling attitudes and behaviours. This involved 16 one-hour interviews conducted online with gamblers who engage in a variety of different gambling types and with different gambling behaviours.

Initial findings

The following report includes headline quantitative analyses that have been conducted between the three waves of data to identify change across the sample. This includes analyses of online gamblers, gamblers across the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), and some demographic cohorts across a number of core metrics. Please note, analysis on PGSI groups has only been included where base sizes allow. As shown in the tables throughout this report, Z-test significance testing (adjusted for overlapping samples) has been applied as part of the analyses to determine any significant shifts on metrics between waves as well as to determine significant differences between the total sample and sub-groups. Additional significance testing approaches may be explored in future reporting.

Further analyses looking at changes within the sample over the longitudinal period will be compiled and combined with findings from the qualitative phase and published in early 2024. Additional analysis may be undertaken by the Gambling Commission at a later date.

Previous section
Cost of living on gambling behaviour: Introduction
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Cost of living on gambling behaviour: Summary of findings
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