Surveys complete problem gambling picture

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A new set of surveys has been published by the NHS, revealing the status of both gambling participiation and problem gambling in Wales and Scotland.

Often used as the bellwether of problem gambling in England by the Gambling Commission and many others, the existing bank of NHS health survey data was joined last week by the Scottish Health Survey, published a day after the Commission additionally revealed the latest Welsh Problem Gambling Survey.

The data showed that problem gambling in Scotland has dropped from 0.8 to 0.7 percent of the population, while the new Welsh survey stated that problem gambling rates are set at 1.1 percent.

The number of people regularly using gambling products in Scotland is rising as problem gambling numbers fall, from 65 percent in 2014 to 67.8 percent in 2015. Removing the National Lottery, the survey still shows that 49.3 percent of the population partake in gambling. Meanwhile, in Wales, gambling participation was recorded as being at 61 percent.

Speaking about the new Welsh report, the GC’s programme director for evidence and analysis, James Green, said: “This new survey provides a robust baseline…most importantly we will be able to monitor changes in gambling participation, the prevalence of problem gambling, and the prevalence of at risk gambling. I would encourage all those with an interest in gambling and public health issues to draw upon this important source of information and support us in ensuring that gambling is fair and safe for all.”

A combined UK report, also incorporating the England Health Survey, is expected to be published in the spring of 2017.

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