The British Gambling Prevalence Survey is a large-scale nationally representative survey of participation in gambling and the prevalence of problem gambling in Great Britain. The survey builds on the first British gambling prevalence survey carried out in 1999, which was commissioned by GamCare. Not much has changes in recent years, here are the Key findings:
Participation in gambling activities
68% of the population, that is about 32 million adults, had participated in some form of gambling activity within the past year. This compares to 72% (about 33 million adults) in 1999.
For around 10 million people, their only gambling activity in the past year had been participating in a National Lottery draw. In 1999 this figure was 11 million.
Excluding people who had only gambled on the National Lottery Draw in the last year, 48% of the population, or about 23 million, had participated in another form of gambling in the past year. This compares to 46% (about 22 million adults) in 1999.
The most popular gambling activities in Great Britain in 2007 were:
* The National Lottery Draw (57%)
* Scratchcards (20%)
* Betting on horse races (17%) and
* Playing slot machines (14%)
Only a small proportion of people engaged in the new forms of gambling available in Great Britain:
* 6% of people used the internet to gamble (3% did online gaming like playing poker or casino games and 4% placed bets with a bookmaker
* 3% used fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs)
The prevalence of problem gambling
The survey measured the levels of problem gambling using two internationally recognised scales, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM IV) and the Canadian Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI).
The DSM IV screen found that the rates of problem gambling in the adult population was about 0.6%, this equates to about 284,000 adults. This is the same percentage of the population the same screen identified in 1999. The PGSI screen identified 0.5% of the adult population with a gambling problem, or around 236,000 adults.
According to the DSM IV screen, the highest prevalence of problem gambling was found among those who participated in spread betting (14.7%), fixed odds betting terminals (11.2%) and betting exchanges (9.8%).
Attitudes to gambling
People who responded to the survey were more negative than positive in their attitudes towards gambling. The average view was that gambling was more harmful than beneficial for individuals, and for society, and should not be encouraged. However, generally people surveyed agreed that there was a right to gamble and rejected total prohibition.