New methodology

First wave of Great Britain gambling survey data unveiled, with overall participation at 48%

Reading time 1:41 min

The initial wave of the Gambling Survey for Great Britain (GSGB) has unveiled key insights into gambling participation trends. According to the findings, overall participation in any form of gambling activity stood at 48%. However, when excluding individuals who solely engaged in lottery draws, the participation rate dropped to 27%.

Online gambling emerged as a popular choice, with a participation rate of 38% in the last four weeks. Yet, when lottery players were excluded, the rate fell to 16%. In contrast, in-person gambling registered a participation rate of 29%, declining to 18% without lottery players.

The Wave 1 data was collected between July and November 2023 and is based on responses from around 4,800 respondents aged 18 or over. Wave 1 data largely aligns with patterns observed in the Gambling Commission's experimental data for its new methodology.

Ben Haden, Director of Research and Statistics at the Gambling Commission, said: "Today we have launched the first wave of data from the new Gambling Survey for Great Britain. After several years in development, we are delighted we have reached this point as we strive for better evidence to inform better decisions which will lead to better regulation." 

Haden said that the survey has been a significant investment for the Gambling Commission as the independently recognized methodology will help them track trends in gambling behavior in the years to come. 

"The GSGB provides a consistent and frequent way of collecting data amongst adults in Great Britain and will provide regular data outputs in order to help us understand changes in gambling behavior amongst the population and amongst subpopulation groups," he said.

The Gambling Commission plans to publish wave-specific data four times a year, each based on about 5,000 responses. An annual report, slated for release in July, will offer a larger sample size for a detailed analysis of specific subpopulations and activities. This comprehensive report will also delve into the impact of gambling on gamblers, including both positive and negative consequences.

Apart from lottery participation, the survey identified scratchcards (13 percent), betting (10 percent), and instant wins (seven percent) as the next most popular gambling activities.

All of the data released from the GSGB, along with the relevant technical supporting information, will be housed in the Statistics and Research hub in a newly designed area specifically for the GSGB on the Commission's website. The raw data will be made available annually in the UK Data Archive to improve the evidence base on gambling.

Leading academic Professor Patrick Sturgis of the London School of Economics recently provided seven recommendations to enhance its effectiveness.

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