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Gambling Survey for Great Britain: Stakeholder engagement groups progress update (July 2023)

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Last week we caught up with our three stakeholder engagement groups (Academics and/or Policy, Industry and Lived Experience) to provide an update on the Gambling Survey for Great Britain (GSGB) project.

Posted 26 July 2023 by Jennifer Barnfield-Tubb

The project will improve the way we collect data on adult gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling, through the introduction of a new push to web survey which will collect responses from 20,000 people annually.

Last week’s update focused on the experimental phase of the project, ahead of the launch of the official statistics fieldwork later this month.

The recommendations we are taking forward from the experimental stage of the project are:

Household selection

Inviting up to two adults per household to take part in the survey and including instructions for the respondents whose birthdays are next, to take part in the survey.


Retaining the refined four-point answer scale for the harm’s questions (‘very often’, ‘fairly often’, ‘occasionally’ and ‘never’). This approach showed improved patterns of responses compared to the pilot data and will allow more granularity when analysing the data.

Ways of asking about gambling participation

Using a long list approach with an updated list of gambling activities to measure gambling participation. Work to redesign the flow of the questionnaire in the Step 3 experiment has successfully reduced the non-response bias we saw amongst postal survey respondents in earlier iterations.

More detail on the experimental survey findings is within the release.

We were also able to share some preliminary analysis from the experimental data on topics that stakeholders told us they were particularly interested in:

Reasons for gambling

To ensure the questionnaire is balanced and includes questions about the benefits of gambling, we asked respondents why they gamble. The four most common reasons given were ‘to win big money’, ‘because it’s fun’, ‘to make money’ and ‘it’s exciting’. The reasons given varied depending on the gambling activity, for example those who played casino games and bet were most likely to play because it’s exciting, whereas casino and fruit and slot players were most likely to take part to make money. Questions on reasons for gambling will be included on a permanent basis in the survey.

Attitudes towards gambling

We measured participants’ attitudes towards gambling using the Attitudes Towards Gambling Scale (ATGS-8)1. On average, attitudes towards gambling were somewhat negative, with the lowest rated item being ‘there are too many opportunities for gambling nowadays’. We also found that women, older age groups, those with lower incomes and those with the highest level of education had some of the least favourable attitudes towards gambling.


Following feedback from stakeholders, we trialled asking gambling spend questions in the experimental phase. Spend is notoriously difficult to measure through consumer surveys, but we are currently analysing the trial responses and a recommendation on its inclusion in the future will be made soon.

Next steps

We have got some analysis from the final step of the experimental phase to complete, which we will share with stakeholders in September and/or October.

We’ll also be launching the fieldwork for the next phase of the project, and in Spring 2024, we will publish our first set of quarterly Official Statistics from the Gambling Survey for Great Britain.

In the meantime, we will be planning the communication and presentation of the results and preparing technical documentation to be published alongside the data.

Following the launch in Spring 2024, we will issue a timetable of the future quarterly release dates, so you will be able to pop those in your diary.

About the author

Jennifer Barnfield-Tubb is the Gambling Commission’s Research and Statistics Manager


1 the ATGS-8 is a scale used to assess gambling attitudes among the general population.

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