Cookies on the Gambling Commission website

The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Statistics and research release

Levels of problem gambling in England

Levels of problem gambling in England.


We commission a chapter on gambling in the Health Survey for England which is published by NHS Digital (opens in new tab) (formerly the NHS Information Centre).

Gambling behaviour is increasingly a subject of public health and policy interest. This is an important annual survey looking at changes in the health and lifestyles of people all over the country.

Around 6,000 adults took part in the survey in 2021.

The findings of the health survey are based on a set of specific questions and interviews which initially were conducted face to face in the homes of respondents. Since the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic the data collection mode has changed to remote telephone and video interviews. The gambling questions are asked via a short paper self-completion questionnaire administered alongside the core health survey questionnaire.

Key facts

Headline findings from the Health Survey for England 2021

  • 50 percent of people in England gambled in 2021.
  • 36 percent of people in England (excluding those who had only played National Lottery draws) gambled in 2021.
  • 0.4 percent of people in England identified as problem gamblers (according to the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) or DSM-IV1).
  • 2.5 percent of people in England were at low or moderate risk of developing problems with their gambling.


Further details on the 2021 Health Survey for England data can be found on NHS Digital's Health Survey for England 2021, part 2 (opens in new tab).

The combined report for Gambling behaviour in Great Britain in 2016 (PDF) (opens in new tab) contains results from the Health Survey for England, the Scottish Health Survey and the Welsh Problem Gambling Survey.


1 The DSM-IV screening instrument is based on criteria from the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM-IV).

Data and downloads


Is this page useful?
Back to top