Three in four gamble

July 21, 2000

The article on gambling ("Gambling rise a lottery legacy", THES, July 14) made no reference to the first national prevalence survey of gambling published a month ago.

We recently commissioned the National Centre for Social Research to carry out the biggest ever survey of adult gambling behaviour in Britain. Of the almost 8,000 people who participated, it was found that three in four adults in Britain gamble every year. Unsurprisingly, the National Lottery was the most popular gambling activity, with 65 per cent of the population buying tickets in the past year.

The survey also found that more than 250,000 people (0.6 per cent to 0.8 per cent of the population) are problem gamblers. While some are aware that they have difficulties controlling their gambling, at least half did not recognise they had a problem.

The good news for the United Kingdom, however, is that there appear to be fewer problem gamblers than in many other countries, including Australia, New Zealand, Spain and the United States.

Mark Griffiths

Psychology division

Nottingham Trent University

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