Thursday, September 20, 2007
UK gambling study reveales a decrease in problem gambling

The British government's Gambling Commission released its 2nd gambling prevalence study this week. This is a large-scale nationally representative survey of participation in gambling and the prevalence of problem gambling in Great Britain.

To the surprise of many, the study concludes that problem gambling has not increased since the 1st study in 1999, despite the introduction of more distribution channels.

Some of the key findings of the study:

68% of the population, that is about 32 million adults, had participated in some form of gambling activity within the past year. This compares to 72% (about 33 million adults) in 1999.

For around 10 million people, their only gambling activity in the past year had been participating in a National Lottery draw. In 1999 this figure was 11 million.

Excluding people who had only gambled on the National Lottery Draw in the last year, 48% of the population, or about 23 million, had participated in another form of gambling in the past year. This compares to 46% (about 22 million adults) in 1999.

The most popular gambling activities in Great Britain in 2007 were:

  • The National Lottery Draw (57%)
  • Scratchcards (20%)
  • Betting on horse races (17%) and
  • Playing slot machines (14%)

    Only a small proportion of people engaged in the new forms of gambling available in Great Britain:

  • 6% of people used the internet to gamble (3% did online gaming like playing poker or casino games and 4% placed bets with a bookmaker
  • 3% used fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs)
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