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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 September 2007, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Key points: Gambling report
The Gambling Prevalence Survey 2007, the first major study of attitudes to and prevalence of gambling in the UK since 1999, surveyed 9,003 people between September 2006 and March 2007.

Here are some of the key findings:


  • There are about 250,000 "problem gamblers" in the UK - but the numbers have remained steady since the last survey in 1999.
  • When people whose sole form of gambling is playing the National Lottery are included, the amount of people gambling has dropped from 72% to 68%.
  • When they are excluded, participation in gambling in the past year had risen from 46% to 48% - which, if translated across the UK - would amount to about an extra 1m people.
  • The types of gambling with the most "problem gamblers" are the newest forms of gambling, such as spread betting, fixed odds betting terminals, betting exchanges and online gambling.

  • 68% of the adult population took part in some form of gambling in the past year
  • The most popular form was the National Lottery draw - 57% of people interviewed had taken part
  • Participation in the football pools dropped from 9% in 1999 to 3% in 2007
  • Numbers of people doing the National Lottery and buying scratch cards also dropped
  • Overall 6% of people questioned used the internet to gamble online.
  • Men are more likely to gamble than women - 71% compared to 65%

  • Rates of problem gambling were 0.6% and 0.5% of the gambling population according to two different measures used
  • But excluding those who only did the National Lottery, between 1.2% and 1.3% of people who had gambled in the past year were estimated to be problem gamblers
  • Problem gamblers are most likely to be male, single, in poor health and have a parent with a gambling problem
  • Problem gambling is also "significantly associated" with being black or Asian, separated or divorced, having fewer educational qualifications and being under 55 years old
  • Spread betting had the highest number of problem gamblers - 14.7%, followed by fixed odds betting terminals (11.2%) and betting exchanges (9.8%)
  • Problem gambling in Britain appears to be worse than in Norway, similar to that in Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland and lower than that in the US, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Hong Kong


  • Attitudes towards gambling are more negative than positive
  • The average view was that gambling was more harmful than beneficial and should not be encouraged
  • But the average person did not think there should be a ban on gambling
  • The under 35s, heavy drinkers and problem gamblers were most likely to be in favour of gambling
  • The over 55s, widows and widowers, people describing themselves as Asian or Asian British and people who had a problem gambler in the family were most opposed to gambling

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