GB problem gambling rate stable at 0.2% despite increase in play

| By Laura Gumbrell
The Gambling Commission has reported a 3% increase in overall participation in gambling activity between the first quarter of 2021 and 2022, while the problem gambling rate reached 0.2%.

The quarterly telephone survey conduct by Yonder Consulting found that of a sample of 4,018 adults aged over 16, there was a general increase in gambling activity in the UK.

Of all the respondents, 43.3% had participated in at least one form of gambling in the past four weeks, with males aged 45-54 the most likely group to gamble.

In the year to March 2022, the in-person gambling participation rate increased to 26.0%, from 23% the previous year. The Commission noted that the increase in participation appears to be driven by a return to in-person gambling activities since the pandemic.

The participation rates for in-person activities still, however, remain below pre-pandemic levels.

Meanwhile, 25.7% of people said they gambled online, continuing a long-term increase.

Looking at participation by game type, 5.2% took part in betting, while 27.2% took part in National Lottery draws and 7.2% used scratchcards. Meanwhile, 13.3% played another lottery and 3.4% played online slots.

The problem gambling rate, is statistically stable at 0.2% while the moderate and low risk rates are also stable at 0.9% and 1.4% respectively. While this problem gambling figure was lower than in the previous edition of the survey, the Commission said the difference was not statistically significant.

The survey did find that there was a statistically significant decline in problem gambling among males, however, as this rate reached only 0.3%.

In its previous edition of the survey, the Commission noted that 2021 was the first year to show a switch towards more positive perceptions of gambling, shown by the proportion of respondents who agreed that “gambling is dangerous for family life” reducing by 5%.

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