he vast majority of gamblers say they take part “because it’s fun” and “for the chance of winning big money.” The British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010 shows that the British public takes part in a wide range of activities with still only a relatively small proportion gambling online.
The measures of problem gambling in the report also show an increase in the number of problem gamblers in Britain, though the authors note it is not possible to say whether this represents an upward trend or a temporary fluctuation.
The proportions increased from 0.5% of the adult population in 2007 to 0.7% in 2010 (which is not statistically significant) on one measure and from 0.6% in 2007 to 0.9% in 2010 (which is at the margins of statistical significance) on the other measure used.
These rates are similar to those in other European countries (Germany, Norway and Switzerland) where this has been measured and are lower than countries like the USA, Australia and South Africa.
This latest report is the third in a series, which provide data on participation in gambling, the prevalence of problem gambling and attitudes towards gambling. It is the first major survey on the prevalence of gambling in Great Britain to be completed since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force in 2007 and was carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).
“The survey confirms that a significant and growing number of people who take part in gambling. However, it also indicates that a small, but probably growing, proportion of the population have serious problems with their gambling. This reinforces our determination to see that gambling regulation continues to both minimize the risk to those individuals and ensure that the majority of people can continue to gamble safely,” said Brian Pomeroy, the Gambling Commission’s Chairman.