Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 9th November 2017.

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Photo of Lord Porter of Spalding Lord Porter of Spalding Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the prevalence of problem gambling among vulnerable groups, including (1) those with mental health issues, (2) those with substance abuse addictions, and (3) the homeless.

Photo of Lord Ashton of Hyde Lord Ashton of Hyde The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The Gambling Commission tracks the prevalence of problem gambling rates through its quarterly survey as well as the NHS Health Surveys. The Gambling Commission surveys can be found at:

The 2015 NHS Health Survey can be found at:

Both reports are attached to this question.

The NHS Health Surveys capture information on problem gambling and co-morbidities such as alcohol consumption, smoking and drug use, as well as physical and mental health conditions. However, due to the relatively small numbers of problem gamblers captured in surveys, demonstrating statistically significant correlations to other health and social issues is difficult.

The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) and GambleAware are leading work to measure gambling-related harm more effectively. This will involve exploring existing data, including around correlations with health and social issues, in more detail. In addition, GambleAware commissioned research by IPPR into the cost of public services provided to problem gamblers, including on health and housing costs which reported in December 2016. The attached report can be found at:

Gambling participation: activities (Excel SpreadSheet, 736.02 KB)
IPPR Problem Gamblers (PDF Document, 969.66 KB)

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