UK Health Study Perfect Example of Bad Gambling Study

UK Health Study

An interesting study released by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service revealed that approximately 54 percent of adults gambled at some point in 2018. When the results of these studies are made public, they are generally spun to try and convince people that there’s a problem with gambling. The reality is very different much of the time.

Like many so-called studies, they usually are overly broad and don’t reflect true problem areas. Instead, they tend to be talking points to support a particular position.

2018 Health Study Says English Gamble at Excessive Levels

The NHS released its 2018 Health Study and the study looks at many areas, including gambling. For this study, adults are classified as anyone 16 or older. This is an important point because in many countries, adult classification starts at 18.

The study went on to conclude participation levels in gambling have dropped slightly from 62 percent in 2015 to 56 percent in 2018. NHS England CEO Simon Stevens commented on the study, stating, “These new stats are a stark reminder of how common gambling is in our society, and how easy it is to become addicted, particularly with the aggressive push into online gambling.”

Speaking of online gambling, the study showed that 15 percent of men and 4 percent of women gamble online. The NHS is calling for gaming companies to increase mental health services to combat gambling addiction and to reduce spending on marketing to young adults.

How Easily The “Study” Can Be Influenced

Earlier we mentioned how this study classifies adults as anyone 16 or older. If you look at the results, you’d think that perhaps there is a big problem with teenagers gambling online or at other forms of gambling.

The reality is that the reason that 16 and 17-year-olds are part of this study is that they can purchase tickets in the National Lottery. Australian online casinos and live casinos around the world require that players be at least 18 to enter. Many require that you be 21.

So why include 16 and 17-year-olds in the study? To help bolster the numbers. Also, when looking further into reports, the study doesn’t differentiate between those that occasionally gamble at the lottery, play at online casinos, or play bingo in live casinos.

Instead, the study looks at anyone that commits a single act of gambling. The study would be better suited if it classified players by how much they gambled, the number of times they gambled per year, or some other quantitative stat.

Looking further, it was the 25 to 34-year-old age group that had the highest participation rate. Interestingly enough, 16 to 24-year-olds didn’t even rank in the top three.

Studies Like These Should Be Largely Overlooked

There are agencies out there that will provide comprehensive data regarding gambling in Australia and other parts of the world. However, most do not provide quantitative data to make an educated decision.

Instead, you generally receive generalized opinions that serve one group or another. The study by the NHS will primarily serve those that oppose online gambling. It may also give lawmakers added leverage to further restrict operators.

We complete support genuine studies backed by thorough research and conducted in a way to provide a complete picture of gambling in an area. These studies are important to gauge the popularity of gambling and to identify any problems.

However, studies that have a clear political slant do nothing to help the industry and should largely be avoided. The only thing you can take away from the NHS study is that teenagers like to play the lottery and a lot of people like to gamble on occasion. That’s it.