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British Gambling Commission’s Innovative Data Collection Approach Reveals Insights into Gambling Trends



Discover groundbreaking insights into gambling trends as the British Gambling Commission adopts an innovative ‘push-to-web’ survey methodology. This revolutionary approach has the potential to reshape our understanding of gambling behavior, shedding light on participation rates, motivations, and potential problem areas. With the aim of ensuring relevant and robust statistics, the Commission’s dedication to adapting its methods reflects its commitment to keeping pace with an ever-evolving industry.

The British Gambling Commission has embarked on a journey of innovation, revolutionizing the way it collects data on gambling participation and the prevalence of associated difficulties or harms. This bold step forward promises to provide a more comprehensive and accurate picture of gambling behavior in the UK.

The heart of this transformative project lies in the adoption of a ‘push-to-web’ survey methodology, poised to replace the Commission’s long-standing telephone surveys. This strategic shift has not occurred in isolation; it has been shaped by the valuable input of over 130 stakeholders, including extensive feedback garnered through engagement panels and workshops conducted as part of a consultation process in 2020.

While the findings remain classified as “official statistics in development” by the Office for Statistics Regulation, they represent a significant leap toward a deeper understanding of gambling patterns. Conducted by NatCen, the final phase of this groundbreaking project incorporated insights from previous stages, utilizing data collected from approximately 4,000 respondents between April and May 2023.


Among these respondents, half had engaged in some form of gambling in the preceding four weeks, while 61 percent had participated in gambling activities over the previous 12 months. Within the first group, gender distribution was nearly equal, with 52.6 percent being men and 47.3 percent women.

The survey unveiled intriguing insights into gambling preferences across age groups. Those aged 45 to 54 exhibited the highest rate of gambling participation, standing at 61.6 percent, while individuals aged 75 and over had the lowest rate at 39.6 percent.

The National Lottery emerged as the most popular gambling activity, attracting 31.8 percent of participants in the previous four weeks. Notably, online lottery purchases outpaced retail purchases, with a ratio of 25 percent to 17.9 percent. Online sports betting saw participation at 11.6 percent, while in-person betting lagged behind at just 5.1 percent. Online casino gaming had a participation rate of 2.4 percent, and land-based casinos trailed at 1.5 percent.

When participants were questioned about their motivations for gambling, the top reasons cited were monetary gain and enjoyment. As for satisfaction levels, 44 percent of those who had gambled rated their last experience six or higher, while 37 percent gave it a neutral score of five. Intriguingly, 2.5 percent of respondents scored eight or above on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI).


The adoption of the new survey methodology is not without its challenges. While it represents a significant step forward, it is worth noting that it achieved a lower response rate compared to the traditional face-to-face method. Furthermore, concerns have been raised that the survey may be more appealing to gamblers than non-gamblers. To address these issues, the Gambling Commission has enlisted Professor Patrick Sturgis from the London School of Economics to conduct an independent review of the new methodology.

Helen Bryce, Head of Statistics at the Gambling Commission, expressed the significance of this milestone, saying, “We have devoted substantial resources – money, people, and time – and collaborated with field experts to create the best consumer gambling survey possible.” She emphasized the need to establish a new baseline for tracking changes in gambling behavior in Great Britain.

As the Gambling Commission continues to adapt its methods, the upcoming findings and recommendations from Professor Sturgis’s review, expected early next year, will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of gambling data collection in the UK.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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