Gambling Commission CEO highlights statistics misuse in new open letter

Updated:2024-03-31 08:45    Views:66

Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission CEO, has written an open letter discussing the coverage of gambling, particularly following the release of the UK Government's White Paper.

According to Rhodes, the Commission has observed a notable amount of statistics being misused by organisations in the media.

In particular, the statics around the rate of problem gambling in the UK have been particularly misrepresented.

This has been stressed by the confusion between problem gambling and gambling-related harm, which are two different issues.

Problem gambling is the disruption or deterioration of family, personal and recreational pursuits, which can be measured on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI).

Meanwhile, gambling-related harm is a wider issue that presents itself in the well-being of individuals, families, communities and society.

To help with the distinction and identification of gambling-related harms, a new gambling survey for Great Britain has been created,Online Casino Games for Real Money which will launch alongside the PGSI.

Rhodes explained: “The Commission has seen misuse of statistics from gambling operators, trade bodies, charities, media outlets, sporting venue owners and others.

“The Commission has even received (or has been copied into) complaints about the misuse of statistics by another party, where the complainant themselves has misused statistics in order to press their complaint.

“Others have sought to rely on data which the authors have said is not reliable enough to draw those conclusions.”

Moving forward, the Gambling Commission will treat coverage will the benefit of the doubt and assume any misrepresentation is accidental.

However, if the offending party refuses to correct the information at the request of the Commission, the Office for Statistics Regulation (OSR) could become involved.

Rhodes concluded: “What is clear from the statistics is that the problem gambling rate overall is low, compared to the level of participation, but when we go beneath the surface of those numbers the picture is more complicated and requires statistics to be properly understood and properly used when discussing these matters." 

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