Gambling Commission Prevalence Study Flawed
The 2010 British Gambling Prevalence Survey published on 15 February 2011 has found that less than 1 per cent of the UK population has a problem with gambling. The surveys of 2007 and 1999 also showed similarly miniscule numbers of problem gamblers.
Warwick Bartlett of Global Betting & Gaming Consultants (GBGC) says: “Given that all forms of gambling are available in the UK and are freely advertised, the British Gambling Prevalence Survey goes to show that the UK citizen has much less of an appetite to gamble than his Asian and European counterpart where gambling in many of those countries is restricted or illegal.”
The Prevalence Survey fails to acknowledge crucial factors: The UK’s regulatory framework renders illegal betting activities almost non-existent when compared to
other nations, where more restrictive legislation encourages underground betting activities to thrive.
This underestimates the size of the overseas gambling market and the true number of problem gamblers in other countries. UK’s GGY per capita in 2009 was lower than in those countries with historical gambling traditions such as Australia, Hong Kong, USA and Ireland. It was also lower than some countries that have developed their gambling markets more recently such as Italy and Finland.
“Gambling is a much less problem for the country than alcohol consumption where 8% of people drink to the point where their health is in danger,” says Mr Bartlett.
“In 2008, there were 6,769 deaths directly related to alcohol according to the National Health Service. No one died from playing the lottery or having a bet. The survey should also be extended to gambling with exotic financial instruments where the results can be catastrophic, as we have seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers.”