SBC News UKGC holds consistency in first datasets of Gambling Survey for Great Britain

UKGC holds consistency in first datasets of Gambling Survey for Great Britain

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has clarified data and insights related to the format of the Gambling Survey for Great Britain (GSGB).

Sanctioned in 2020, the Commission undertook two years of pilot tests and fieldwork on methodologies to develop a new format for its survey collecting data on gambling prevalence in Great Britain.

The survey is carried out independently by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) and the University of Glasgow, with the aim of providing stakeholders with “high-quality information about the gaming, betting, and playing habits, attitudes, and harms experienced across the adult population in Great Britain.”

In 2024, the Commission published the first two datasets of the GSGB titled ‘Wave-1’ and ‘Wave-2’, branded as the “largest survey about people’s gambling behaviours in the world, collecting data from a total of 20,000 respondents each year.”

As detailed, Wave-1 of the GSGB was representative of a sample of 4,801 adults aged 18 and over who were interviewed during the period from July to November 2023.

Wave-2 is a representative sample of 5,003 adults aged 18 years and over who were interviewed during the period from November 2023 to February 2024.

Both datasets examine gambling activities and participation methods, providing insights into why people gamble in the UK. 

SBC News UKGC holds consistency in first datasets of Gambling Survey for Great Britain
Helen Bryce: UKGC

As explained by UKGC Head of Statistics, Helen Bryce: “This is the second publication of official statistics from the GSGB and like the first, this wave-specific publication focuses on the gambling activities that people have participated in and how they have taken part. We’ve also published data on why people gamble, which shows that most people take part for fun or for the chance to win money.”

On gambling prevalence, Wave-2 details that 48% of respondents participated in any gambling activity in the past four weeks, consistent with Wave-1 data.

Over one fifth of respondents (21%) participated exclusively in lottery draws (either National Lottery or charity draws) in the past four weeks. Excluding lottery-only participants, the overall gambling participation rate was 27%.

A breakdown of demographic insights reveals the highest participation amongst males aged 35 to 64. However, excluding lottery participants, the demographic shifts to males aged 18 to 44.

Trends saw 36% of respondents participate in online gambling in the past four weeks, dropping to 14% when excluding lottery-only participants. For in-person (land-based) gambling, the participation rate was 29%, which decreases to 18% when lottery-only participants are excluded.

Data remained consistent with Wave-1 on gambling activities as the National Lottery remained the most popular activity, played by 31% of respondents, followed by scratchcards (13%) and betting (9%).

Both surveys detailed that “the most popular reasons given as to why respondents gambled were for the fun and/or enjoyment factor or for monetary reasons.”

As noted by Bryce, both surveys index the “Short Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (SWEMWBS)” providing “a short version of the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale which measures the mental wellbeing of the population. For researchers, the Commission has published the SWEMWBS metric score of 22.8 for Wave-1 and 22.9 for Wave-2.”

Moving forward, the Commission will publish the first annual report of the GSGB on 25 July. The inaugural report is based on data from two waves collected between July 2023 and February 2024 (10,000 responses), but future annual reports will be based on four waves of data collected throughout the calendar year (20,000 responses).

Bryce concluded: “By combining responses across multiple waves we’ll be able to go into more detail about how responses vary across different population subgroups, and will also publish more data in the annual report about the consequences of gambling.”

 

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