A new survey released by the NHS has revealed the extent of gambling in England and has also provided a snapshot of the problem gambling issue.
The Health Survey for England figures, released today, reveal that 13% of the population were involved in online betting through a bookmaker during 2018, while the overall percentage of population who had taken part in gambling fell to 51%.
The Health Survey took account of problem gambling through two different statistical measurements, known as DSM-IV and PGSI. Both approaches showed problem gambling rates that were less than the generally accepted level of 0.7%. DSM-IV showed that problem gambling in 2018 affected 0.5% of the English population. It also showed that men were more often problem gamblers than women.
With the PGSI method, problem gambling was recorded at 0.4%, and men were again more likely than women to be at risk. The PGSI also reported that 0.8% of the English population were ‘moderate risk’ gamblers. Back in 2016, the figures for the whole of the UK, showed that 1.1% of the population were at ‘moderate risk’ of suffering gambling harm.
Questions on gambling were added to the NHS annual Health Surveys since 2010, when the National Gambling Prevalence Studies were discontinued after a funding shortfall.
In 2010, the survey showed higher DSM-IV problem gambling rates across the entire population, as did the PGSI method, which suggests the latest figures are good news. But the NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said that the issue of problem gambling was still serious and that betting companies needed to do more to fund research and treatment in this area to complement the new specialist services rolled out to tackle gambling harm by the NHS:
“But it is high time that all these firms who spend many millions on marketing and advertising step up to the plate and take their responsibilities seriously.”