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Nearly Three Quarters of Adults in Britain Gamble

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Mar/05/2011

More people are taking part in gambling according to an independent report published today by the Gambling Commission showing that nearly three quarters of adults (73%) gambled in the previous year, up from 68% in 2007. The vast majority of gamblers say they take part “because it’s fun” and “for the chance of winning big money”. The British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010 shows that the British public take part in a wide range of activities with still only a relatively small proportion gambling online.

The measures of problem gambling in the report also show an increase in the number of problem gamblers in Britain, though the authors note it is not possible to say whether this represents an upward trend or a temporary fluctuation (see note 1). The proportions increased from 0.5% of the adult population in 2007 to 0.7% in 2010 (which is not statistically significant) on one measure and from 0.6% in 2007 to 0.9% in 2010 (which is at the margins of statistical significance) on the other measure used (see notes). These rates are similar to those in other European countries (Germany, Norway and Switzerland) where this has been measured and are lower than countries like the USA, Australia and South Africa.

This latest report is the third in a series which provide data on participation in gambling, the prevalence of problem gambling and attitudes towards gambling. It is the first major survey on the prevalence of gambling in Great Britain to be completed since the Gambling Act 2005 came into force in 2007 and was carried out by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).

“The survey confirms that there are a significant and growing number of people who take part in gambling“, said Brian Pomeroy, the Gambling Commission’s Chairman.

“However, it also indicates that a small, but probably growing, proportion of the population have serious problems with their gambling. This reinforces our determination to see that gambling regulation continues to both minimise the risk to those individuals and ensure that the majority of people can continue to gamble safely.”

Baroness Neuberger, the Chair of both the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board* and the Responsible Gambling Fund*, commented: 

“To find out which treatment and prevention programmes really work we need a better understanding of how to reduce the harm experienced by problem gamblers and how to help them. This means the industry needs to meet agreed fundraising targets to pay for these programmes plus the supporting research”.

The full survey is available on the Gambling Commission’s website

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