The UK Gambling Commission is looking for feedback and guidance on improving its research methodology on gambling behavior and addiction.
UKGC Adjusts Research Methodology
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is looking to adjust and refine its research methodology on gambling and gambling addiction.
To that end, the UKGC has launched a consultation for feedback and guidance from the public. The results will be used to improve the effectiveness of the Commission’s new approach. The ultimate goal is to establish a new standard on research into gambling behavioural patterns.
Collecting and disseminating accurate gambling-related data is one of the UKGC’s core regulatory functions. The UK Government uses the data to build a better understanding of gambling participation, gambling addiction and the related factors that influence and fuel these behaviors.
The UKGC’s data collection endeavors are guided by and conducted in accordance with the “Code of Practice for Statistics” set by the Government Statistical Service.
In a recent statement, the UKGC affirmed its dedication and ambition to improve the quality, robustness and timeliness of its statistics. It also laid outs its plans of measuring gambling participation and prevalence this year.
According to a recent statement by House of Lords Select Committee Chair Lord Garde of Yarmouth, gambling addiction has been undermined by our lack of understanding on the matter.
Gambling Addiction on the Rise
Gambling addiction and its related factors and complications have attracted significant attention from regulatory bodies and researchers in recent years. While there have always been individuals with heightened susceptibility to developing the addiction, last year saw a notable increase in problem gambling across the globe.
The spike can be partially attributed to the increase in financial insecurity caused by the pandemic and accompanying economic recession. However, our current understanding of the illness is littered with gaps and misconceptions which unfortunately hamper our countermeasures.
Gambling addiction is also commonly dismissed and minimized by individuals and by legislature. A recent report from Sheffield University urges officials to recognize the illness as a real and serious health issue.
A major topic within the greater discussion of problem gambling is its relationship with pro athletes. Former UK soccer player Michael Chopra recently opened up about his own struggles with the illness and the impact it had on his life.
A more visceral and introspective example can be found in former UK winger Matthew Etherington’s recent autobiography Lucky Man. It is a chilling insight into the severe impact addiction can have on one’s personal and professional life.
The UKGC’s improved statistics and insights will certainly help stem the tide of problem gambling in the UK.