UKGC to proceed with proposed changes to gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence research methodology

As previously reported by us here, in December 2020 the Gambling Commission commenced a consultation in relation to its proposal to change the research methodology it uses to collect gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence statistics.

It has now published its Consultation Response, the Executive Summary to which reads as follows:

Executive summary – participation and prevalence research

From December 2020-February 2021, we consulted on proposals to change the research methodology we use to collect adult gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence statistics. This is a data collection duty set by the Gambling Act 2005 and the data is also official statistics.

The consultation offset a limited scope related to this duty, with a focus on core participation and prevalence measurement. The aim is to provide the strongest possible foundation which we, and other interested parties can base further work on. We recognise that deficiencies currently exist in the wider system for measuring gambling harms and will continue our commitment to play our part in addressing these, through a combination of our own wider research programme and external research by partner organisations.

Our consultation outlined proposals to improve the quality, robustness and timeliness of our participation and prevalence official statistics. Specifically, the proposals sought to:

  • develop a single, gold standard population survey for the whole of Great Britain
  • consolidate current surveys into one population survey
  • review and refresh the gambling activities included in the participation questions
  • improve the frequency and turnaround time of the survey data
  • explore more future proof data collection methods
  • implement a new methodology from 2022, subject to a satisfactory pilot.

The consultation outlined the aim to develop a single, high quality methodology to measure participation and prevalence which will be more efficient, cost effective and timely, helping us to respond quickly to emerging consumer issues. We believe that a new approach will enable us to set the standard for authoritative research into gambling.

We received 62 valid responses to the consultation which ran for 10 weeks. This document summarises the responses received and explains our position on each proposal.

Our proposals were well supported, with an average of two-thirds of respondents agreeing with our proposals and only one in five disagreeing. On this basis, we intend to proceed with our plans to pilot a new approach in 2021/22 and subject to its successful completion, move to implementing a new methodology on a permanent basis from 2022/23.

You can download below the full Consultation Response document.