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Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL8262, tabled on 4 June 2018

To ask Her Majesty's Government on what evidence they concluded problem gambling rates have remained relatively stable during a period of considerable growth in advertising volumes, as stated in the Government response to the consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, published in May.

Answered on

15 June 2018

The most recent large-scale report was published by the Gambling Commission in 2017, using data from Health Survey for England and Scotland 2015 and Problem Gambling Survey Wales 2015. This estimated the number of adult problem gamblers in Great Britain as approximately 430,000, 0.8% of the population.

The number of gambling adverts on TV rose from 2007, and new types of advertising emerged such as online and on social media. There have been three other published large-scale assessments of rates of problem gambling since then: the British Gambling Prevalence Survey (BGPS) 2007, BGPS 2010 and the Health Survey for England and Scotland 2012. Over the course of these surveys there have been slight adjustments to the approach, questions and methodology, and across this period, observed rates of problem gambling have fluctuated slightly but have remained below 1%. Any observed changes are not statistically significant. The response to the Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility set out a package of initiatives to strengthen protections around gambling advertising. It also recognised that there were gaps in the evidence available, and proposed measures to fill these, including significant research commissioned by GambleAware into the impact of gambling advertising on children, young people and those vulnerable to harm. This is due to be completed next year.