UK problem gambling levels remain at record low

The Gambling Commission conducts a telephone survey every quarter.
The Gambling Commission conducts a telephone survey every quarter.

The rate remains low at 0.2 per cent, according to the Gambling Commission’s latest survey.

UK.- The Gambling Commission has reported the results of its latest quarterly survey using the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). According to its telephone interviews with 4,018 participants, the rate of problem gambling for the quarter ending June 30 was 0.2 per cent.

That’s the same rate reported in the last survey, and a slight drop from 0.4 per cent in Q2 last year, and 0.3 per cent in Q3 and Q4 last year. Problem gambling among men was down slightly at 0.3 per cent, but the Gambling Commission noted that with such small rates, the interannual change was not statistically significant. The rate among women remained the same at 0.1 per cent.

The rate was highest among 16 to 24 year olds, but even then was just 0.8 per cent – a slight but not statistically significant rise. The rate was 0.3 per cent for 25 to 34 year olds, 0.2 per cent for 35 to 44 year olds, zero for 45 to 54 year olds, 0.2 per cent for 55 to 64 year olds and 0.1 per cent for over 65s.

The survey asks respondents who have gambled in the last 12 months three questions, with the answers scored from “never” to “almost always”. It found that 42.9 per cent had gambled in the last four weeks and 25.8 per cent did so online. In both cases, the rate was highest among 45 to 54 year olds. The National Lottery was the most common choice.

The Gambling Commission is currently planning a new methodology to measure prevalence and problem gambling rates. However, this has been criticised due to the fact that the survey appeared to over-index gamblers, which may have inflated the levels of harm reported.

Gambling Commission publishes new advice for handling complaints

Last week, the Gambling Commission published new recommendations on how gaming licensees should handle complaints. It also reminded licensees of existing rules and guidance on the matter following a review of complaints policies that identified areas for improvement.

The commission reviewed 34 licensee complaints policies from a range of sectors and looked at how accessible and easy they were to use. The review had been anticipated in the regulator’s 2021/22 business plan to “explore how to improve how licensees deal with consumers when things go wrong”.

The regulator will also carry out a consultation on its penalties for breaches of regulations and on how to improve gambling operators’ accountability. The regulator said it aimed to be more transparent on its enforcement action and about how penalties are calculated.

The regulator will seek feedback on how to improve the way it calculates penalties in order to ensure that they are more effective in encouraging operator compliance. It will also look at how accountability can be improved by expanding the personal management licence regime.

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