Professor Jim Orford from the University's School of Psychology has recently been called upon to put his expertise to use as a lead author of The British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010 (BGPS 2010).
He believes that gambling has been allowed to expand withough proper public consultation or debate. "Government, I believe, has now become complicit in gambling expansion. It wears a number of hats which don’t match. It benefits financially from taxing commercial gambling operations and even operates gambling itself in the form of the National Lottery. At the same time it is responsible not only for regulating gambling but also for promoting public health and protecting citizens from danger."
The survey prepared by the National Centre for Social Research will be used by the Gambling Commission to help develop policy for the regulation of gambling and to advise the Secretary of State on gambling issues. It will also provide information on gambling to the industry, problem gambling charities and other key stakeholders.
Key findings from 2010 include:
More people are gambling; in 2007 68% of the population gambled increasing to 73% in 2010.
The largest increase in gambling occurred among women, where rates have increased from 65% in 2007 to 71% in 2010.
Men are still more likely than women to gamble, but women are increasingly buying scratchcards (25%), taking part in other lotteries (25%), playing slot machines (10%) and gambling online on bingo, casino or slot machine style games (4%).
Most people think gambling is harmful, but that people have a right to gamble if they want to and reject the idea of prohibition.
Between 0.7% - 0.9% of adults aged 16 and over are 'problem' gamblers. That equates to between a third and half a million people and is a 50% increase compared to 2007. A much larger number, around 7% of adults, appear to be gambling in a way that puts them at risk of experiencing problems.
See the full British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010