Insights Gambling Commission consults on approach to measuring gambling participation and prevalence in effort to improve statistics


The Gambling Commission has announced its latest consultation on gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence research.

In its 2020/21 Business Plan, the Commission committed to reviewing its approach to measuring gambling participation and prevalence. This commitment was repeated in its first ever National Strategic Assessment published in November last year, where the Commission cited gaps in the evidence and understanding of gambling-related harms as a key issue and risk that it and the industry faces. At the time, the Commission said it intended to implement the outcomes of the review in 2021.

This consultation is therefore aimed at changing the research methodology used to capture gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence statistics, which the Commission collects as part of its duty under the Gambling Act 2005 to advise the government on gambling and provide effective regulation. It says the new approach “will set the standard for authoritative research into gambling behaviour.

Limitations with the current survey arrangements outlined by the Commission in the consultation document include the infrequency and long turnaround time from inception to reporting of the Health Surveys (which are the current survey method) , a lack of control over its access to Health Surveys limiting its ability to report representative data for the whole of Great Britain, and the traditional research methods relied upon being in decline and under greater threat due to Covid-19.

The consultation is open until 12 February 2021 and can be found here. At a time when many in the industry are insisting that the review of the Gambling Act must be evidence led, this consultation represents an important opportunity for stakeholders with insights on this topic to contribute.