The UK gambling regulatory body has moved to the next phase of its project aimed at improving the quality of its adult gambling prevalence and participation statistics available to stakeholders. Now, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed that the new research schemes on the matter are set to be piloted between October 2021 and March 2022, so it had already moved onto the next phase of the headline project.
Earlier in 2021, the country’s gambling watchdog launched a consultation on so-called “research methodologies” following some proposals to change the way it collects data regarding participation and prevalence. This set of statistics mirrors the levels of gambling activity of the UK, as well as the local gambling participation and problem gambling rates. The process was carried out in line with the standards that had been implemented under the “Code of Practice for Statistics” of the Government Statistical Service.
After the completion of the consultation phase, the Gambling Commission rolled out a research partner tender, which resulted in the appointment of the University of Glasgow and the NatCen Social Research to lead the pilot phase of the new methodologies testing.
As revealed by the UKGC, NatCen Social Research and the University of Glasgow have joined forces with Bryson Purdon Social Research to test a new methodology for retrieving data regarding gambling participation and prevalence, as well as information on broader gambling-related harm inflicted on adult British residents.
Stakeholder Engagement with the UK Gambling Industry to Be Researched
Starting in October, the research partners of the UK gambling regulatory body will pilot the wider methodologies to research the stakeholder engagement with the industry. A new modified online survey is also set to be released. The Gambling Commission explained that all the collected data will be evaluated, with recommendations set to be released prior to the next phase of the research project.
The gambling watchdog explained that any prevalence data that is announced as official statistics will still be produced in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics released by the UK Government.
The Code of Practice for Statistics is based on three pillars – Value, Quality and Trustworthiness, which the Government considers universal to all uses of statistics, data and analysis, no matter the setting. The authorities have also provided an explainer about the three pillars in order to help guide evaluation by the regulatory bodies in different sectors, including gambling.
As announced by the Gambling Commission, it will continue the development and evaluation of the new approach as part of the efforts to impose a continuous basis that will end up with the introduction of a single population survey for the entire country. It will also provide it with the chance to get timely insights into the sector and respond to the industry’s newest trends.