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Gambling: Research

Question for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

UIN HL3937, tabled on 10 November 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of the number of problem gamblers in Great Britain; and what research they have undertaken to form this estimate.

Answered on

23 November 2021

As set out in Public Health England’s evidence review on gambling-related harms, the estimated problem gambling rate for England was 0.5% in 2018, or around 245,600 people, with figures drawn from the Health Survey. The most recent combined Health Survey figure for adults in Great Britain was 0.6%, or approximately 340,000 people, in 2016. To supplement the Health Surveys, the Gambling Commission carries out a quarterly survey by telephone which includes a shortened problem gambling screening. For the year to September 2021 this estimated a problem gambling rate of 0.3%.

According to the Commission’s Young People and Gambling 2019 report, 11% of 11-16 year olds said they had spent their own money on gambling activities in the seven days prior to being surveyed. This was a reduction from 14% in 2018 and 23% in 2011.

Public Health England’s evidence review also looked at the available evidence on the direct, indirect and intangible costs of gambling harm to society. It estimated an annual cost of approximately £1.27 billion associated with people who are problem or at-risk gamblers, including £619.2 million of intangible costs associated with suicide.