The Gambling Commission has outlined more detail on the development of the gambling-related harm element of its new Gambling Survey for Great Britain.

Gambling Commission

The GSGB is the UK regulator’s new methodology for assessing the size of the market and the impact of different verticals – as well as for informing best practices for supporting those at risk from gambling harms.

The first wave of results of the push to web survey released at the start of March found that overall gambling participation in any gambling activity was 48 per cent in the past four weeks.

The Gambling Commission’s head of research, Laura Balla, said the questions relating to gambling-related harm in the GSGB went through “various phases of development over the last few years before ultimately being included as core questions.”

She said the regulator “wanted to take our time to make sure that we were producing questions that were effective in capturing negative impacts, were reliable, and which gave us representation across the three domains of harm outlined in the Wardle et al. (2018) framework.”

The framework mentioned was used by the Gambling Commission defines gambling-related harm as “the adverse impacts from gambling on the health and wellbeing of individuals, families, communities and society.”

Upon defining this part of the survey in more detail, Balla said it became clear that “there were differences in the severity of some of the issues that were being considered.”

“Going forward we will be treating items that are unquestionably more severe, such as bankruptcy, relationship breakdown and committing a crime, separately to what we are terming ‘other negative consequences’,” she said, adding that the new survey will “also allow us to explore the relationship” between the Problem Gambling Score Index and the wider impacts of gambling “for the first time.”

“We will, however, need to take care with our use of language, and will be engaging with our Lived Experience Advisory Panel as we approach the first publication to ensure that the findings are being articulated sensitively and without stigma.

“The new findings will also be positioned in a separate chapter of the report covering the impact of gambling, to also include people’s motivations for and enjoyment of gambling.”

The Gambling Commission is set to publish the first release of the new data in the first annual GSGB report in July.