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National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms 2019 to 2022

The sole aim of this three-year (2019 to 2022) National Strategy was to move faster and go further to reduce gambling harms.

Changes in gambling behaviour over time

Existing population surveys such as the Health Surveys and Welsh Problem Gambling Survey are effective at monitoring rates of gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling. They are limited, however, in exploring how gamblers’ behaviour changes over time.

It is increasingly recognised that gambling behaviour can be fluid and variable, where changes in intensity of engagement over time are the norm and patterns of problematic gambling unstable. For this reason, longitudinal research is necessary to explore gambling trajectories, including movement in and out of problem gambling status.

We envisage the findings of this longitudinal research will ultimately be used to inform the development of safer gambling policy and enable us to better understand where policy changes should be targeted.

It will also inform the development of effective prevention and treatment approaches. However, we also recognise that we will need help understanding how the findings will inform policy.

We know that harmful gambling can be episodic and is often non-linear as people move in and out of harmful play.

We need to understand how gambling behaviour changes over time, and why some people move in and out of harmful play whilst others do not.

This will allow us to make gambling safer by learning from gamblers who continue to play safely, and exploring the triggers that can lead to harm.

Image 11 - Research aims for changes in gambling behaviour over time- the image shows 3 circles with text in them. The first circle describes what we know, the second describes what we need to do and the third describes what this will help us to understand.

Research projects

In order to develop a longitudinal study of this kind, we commissioned a Longitudinal Study of Gambling (PDF) to conduct a rapid consultation and explore the methodological options for conducting longitudinal research and make recommendations on which approach or approaches will most effectively answer the research questions.

The consultation and review have been completed by NatCen and Dr Heather Wardle. More information is available in the longitudinal scoping invitation to tender (PDF).

The final report will be published as part of the brief for the delivery phase of the longitudinal research.

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Patterns of play
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What works in industry-based harm-minimisation
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