YouGov & IGRG survey highlights ambiguity in distinguishing gambling habits

A YouGov survey commissioned by the Industry Group For Responsible Gambling (IGRG) has found that 77% of people believe they have enough information to gamble safely and responsibly. 

The poll, which questioned more than 2,000 adults about their gambling habits over the last 12 months, has been published ahead of Responsible Gambling Week which takes place from 7-13 November. 

The report highlighted that while the majority of punters had sufficient information on responsible gambling initiatives, there was strong support for a public education campaign to promote safe gambling. 

59% of respondents felt as though such a campaign was as important, or more important, than a campaign to promote responsible drinking; or active lifestyles (55%), a smoke-free environment (55%), safe sex (54%) and healthy eating (53%). While 53% of those polled were unaware of a campaign to promote safer gambling.

The survey also revealed that 35% of players would like to receive information at the point of registering for a game.

John Hagan, chair of the IGRG, explained: “This research highlights the importance of educating everyone about the importance of safer gambling, including those who think the messages do not apply to them. 

“Every problem gambler is someone who once thought they didn’t have a problem. Most people gamble responsibly and purely for enjoyment, but we want safer gambling messages, such as setting time limits or spending limits, to become as instinctive as putting on a seatbelt when you get into your car.

“Promoting safer gambling is a year-round responsibility, which operators and their staff take very seriously. The poll shows there is strong support for a public education campaign and the objective of Responsible Gambling Week is to educate people about safer gambling, but the campaign is just one aspect of the work being done by the industry throughout the year to protect its customers.”

In the results of the poll, YouGov and the IGRG also emphasised a distinction between ‘soft gambling’ and ‘hard gambling’. Soft gambling constitutes the types of gaming which many do not regard as gambling at all, and so-called hard gambling, which they believe may not apply to them.

42% of those polled revealed that they did not consider playing games in arcades as gambling, while 40% thought that playing in a bingo club does not constitute gambling, nor does playing the lottery (33%) or buying scratch cards (29%).

The poll also gave an insight into the safer gambling messages people found most relevant to them:

  • Only spend what you can afford – 55%
  • Set your limits – 40%
  • Never chase your losses – 39%
  • Gambling is not the answer to any problem – 36%
  • Gambling shouldn’t interfere with personal relationships – 32%
  • Gambling when angry or upset is not a good idea – 30%

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