May 17, 2023 3 min read


NHS Data Confirms Problem Gambling Rate Remains Low in the UK

The recently released data comes amid ongoing talks about the overhaul of the gambling sector in the UK following the release of the Gambling Act White Paper

The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, released a new report, revealing valuable insights about the problem gambling rate in the country. Additionally, the new report outlined what percentage of men and women participated in gambling activities and what were the most popular forms of gambling within the last 12 months.

Starting with problem gambling, NHS’ recent report revealed that based on its Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) scores, some 0.3% of the adults engaging in gambling were identified as problem gamblers. Significantly higher, or 2.8%, is the percentage of adults that were identified to engage in at-risk or problem gambling.

The recent figures uncovered that men, who find gambling traditionally more appealing, were more likely to engage in such activity. Overall, excluding the National Lottery along with other lotteries, one in ten adults or 10% of the adults participated in online gambling in the last 12 months.

Not unexpectedly, men represented a bigger group of at-risk or problem gambling individuals. Some 4.4% of the men were identified as at-risk or problem gamblers, while only 1.1% of the women engaged in at-risk or problem gambling.

The More Gambling Activities, the Bigger the Risk

Details released by the NHS revealed that in the last 12 months, the most popular gambling activities were tickets for the National Lottery Draw. That form of gambling was responsible for 34% of the activities, while tickets for other lotteries represented another 15% of the activities.

Scratch cards were the choice of 14% of the gamblers, while 8% placed a sports wager online with a bookmaker. Placing a bet on a horse race via a bookmaker or via phone was the choice of 5% of gamblers in the last 12 months, while all other gambling activities had a rate of participation below 5%, judging by the recent report.

The data released recently uncovered an interesting but not unexpected correlation. NHS’ report revealed that people who had “gambled and spent money on four or more different gambling activities in the last 12 months were more likely to engage in at-risk or problem gambling (27.8%) than those who gambled on two or three different activities (4.6%) or only one activity (1.6%).”

It’s important to mention that although the figures were published recently, they referred to a period until March 31, 2022. Comparing this data to statistics released by the UKGC reveals that the rate of problem gambling has decreased slightly recently. This is because the most recent data from the UKGC reveals that the rate of problem gambling is at 0.2%.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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