Problem gambling eight times worse than previously estimated

There are eight times as many problem gamblers in Great Britain than previously estimated, new figures from the industry regulator have shown.

Employing a more “robust” methodology, the Gambling Commission now believes that problem gamblers make up 2.5 per cent of the population – significantly higher than its 2021 estimate of 0.3 per cent.

The regulator’s “single high quality survey” is expected to replace previous approaches to collecting data on adult gambling.

Bad experience

Based on a survey of approximately 4,000 adults over two months, results showed that half had gambled in the previous four weeks, with most respondents “always” or “often” taking part in an attempt to make big money.

Overall, 2.5 per cent of respondents were classified as problem gamblers, with a further 3.5 per cent considered to be at ‘moderate risk’ of suffering gambling harms.

On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being ‘hated it’ and 10 being ‘loved it’, 19 per cent of respondents rated their last gambling experience as 4 or lower.

Gambling industry

Responding to the findings, Gambling Minister Stuart Andrew said: “This new survey presents a higher quality picture of gambling participation and harm than has existed previously.”

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, Chairwoman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Gambling Related Harm, said: “I hope the industry will take note”.

Industry lobby group the Betting & Gaming Council dismissed the methodology as ‘experimental’.

Also see:

‘Govt and gambling companies need to do more’, urge grieving parents’

Gambling addict: ‘I couldn’t face my kids after betting my salary’

Gambling firm fined almost half a million by UK watchdog

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