Thursday, June 13, 2024

Gambling Survey for Great Britain – Wave 1 results published

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Our director of research and statistics, Ben Haden, talks through the launch of the first wave of data from the Gambling Survey for Great Britain, and the plans for the future.

Posted 29 February 2024 by Ben Haden


Today we have launched the first wave of data from the new Gambling Survey for Great Britain (GSGB). After several years in development, we are delighted we have reached this point as we strive for better evidence to inform better decisions which will lead to better regulation. It has been a significant investment for the Gambling Commission – money, people and time – I would like to thank the team who have put so much into it over this considerable time to bring it to this point.

We are now confident that we have an independently recognised robust methodology that will help us to track trends in gambling behaviour in the years to come. The GSGB provides a consistent and frequent way of collecting data amongst adults in Great Britain and will provide regular data outputs in order to help us understand changes in gambling behaviour amongst the population and amongst sub population groups.

The first release of data from Wave 1 of the GSGB is centred around gambling participation, focusing on the types of gambling activities that people take part in and the reasons why people gamble. This release helps us to understand how gambling fits into people’s everyday lives, and complements previous work around typologies and path to play carried out through our consumer voice programme – another key source of evidence for the Commission.

The Wave 1 data was collected between July and November 2023 and is based on responses from around 4,800 respondents aged 18 or over. At a headline level it tells us that nearly half of the population (48 percent) have gambled in the last 4 weeks, although we know a lot of these people are only buying tickets for lottery draws, either the National Lottery or another lottery. If we exclude those who only play lottery draws, around one in three (27 percent) people told us they have gambled in the past four weeks.

We have improved the question in the survey about the type of activities that people are taking part in, so it better represents the type of activities that are available today; there are now 16 examples of activities listed in the questionnaire that people can play online compared to two in the Health Survey. However despite the availability of online activities, we know that many people still choose to gamble in person. In fact the data shows that when you exclude those who have only taken part in a lottery draw in the last 4 weeks, the proportion of people who have taken part in activities online or in person is very similar (16 percent and 18 percent respectively). And interestingly, amongst our past 4 week gamblers, most do a mixture of both online and in person gambling.

We’ll publish this wave specific data four times a year, based on around 5,000 responses collected each wave. Then annually, we’ll have a bigger publication which will amalgamate all of the data collected over the course of the year into one publication. This will provide a much bigger sample size so we can start to analyse behaviours amongst specific sub population groups or specific activities. In this annual publication, unlike the quarterly wave data we publish, we will also report on the impact that gambling has on gamblers and by that we mean both the positive and negative consequences of gambling. This year our annual report will be published in July.

All of the data released from the GSGB, along with the relevant technical supporting information will be housed on the Statistics and Research hub in a newly designed area specifically for the GSGB. This area of our website has been carefully designed by our digital team based on feedback from user research undertaken with our stakeholders. And of course, we’ll make the raw data available annually in the UK Data Archive, so that together we can improve the evidence base on gambling.

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