The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has today published its ‘combined Health Survey’, detailing data and insights provided by independent non-profit organisation – NatCen Social Research.
The Health Survey focuses on three key research areas; gambling participation, at-risk and problem-gambling rates across the UK, with data gathered from public health records drawn during 2016.
“The main aims and objectives of this report are: to describe the prevalence of gambling participation, frequency of gambling participation, the prevalence of low risk, moderate risk and problem gambling; to explore characteristics associated with gambling participation, frequent gambling, low risk, moderate risk and problem gambling” details the UKGC’s executive summary.
With regards to participation, the study finds that 57% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Great Britain had gambled in the past year, down by 6% compared to 2015 figures.
The lottery and its associated products continue to be the most popular form of gambling activity for UK adults, with National Lottery draws (41%), and scratchcards (21%) of participation.
The study finds that gambling participation excluding National Lottery draws only was highest among 25 – 34-year-olds.
Measuring UK ‘gambling risk’ rates, the study finds that 2.4% of people were classed as low-risk gamblers, with 1.1% of people classed as moderate risk gamblers.
In its report, the UKGC classifies problem-gambling as a mental disorder which ‘compromises, disrupts or damages family, personal or recreational pursuits’.
For 2016, 1.2% of gamblers were classed as problem gamblers (0.7% of the population) with figures statistically stable, and consistent with both 2012 and 2015 health surveys.
Tim Miller, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission said: “The Health Survey, along with all of our evidence and data, indicates that the problem gambling rate in Great Britain is stable. However, we want to see a sustained and significant reduction in the levels of problem gambling and will continue to drive the industry to build momentum towards this goal.
“Understanding the level of problem gambling is an important part of making gambling safer, but what this data won’t show is the extent of the harm someone may be experiencing, or the wider impact upon their families and their communities.”