One of the lead researchers on the Responsible Gambling Trust’s investigations into problem gambling on machines has warned against applying its findings from loyalty cards to the whole machine gaming public.
Heather Wardle, Research Director of NatCen Group, stated that the identified problem gambling rate of 23% found in its sample could not be comfortably extrapolated to every gaming machine player as the study had absolutely no visibility of the playing habits of non-loyalty card holders.
She even warned against applying the problem gambling figure to the loyalty card population as the study purposely skewed its sample to capture the most frequent gamblers in order to ensure the research had a decent number of subjects suffering from problem gambling.
Wardle was asked specifically about the headline in today’s Guardian Newspaper – “More than a third of users of fixed-odds betting terminals are problem gamblers”
The Director of research suggested that the findings should not be generalised in this way. “We just don’t know what’s going on with the non-loyalty card holders,” she said.
Guardian Newspaper Headline –