LSE Professor Supports New Gambling Survey for Britain

Professor Patrick Sturgis from the London School of Economics recently gave a strong endorsement to the Gambling Survey for Great Britain (GSGB), highlighting its potential to vastly improve the collection of gambling statistics in the UK. In his independent review published on February 19, Sturgis praised the GSGB’s approach, describing it as “exemplary in all respects.”

Sturgis appreciated the survey’s innovative shift from quarterly telephone interviews to a ‘push-to-web’ format, aimed at exclusively gathering data on gambling activities. This change, he noted, would allow for a much larger sample size, targeting 20,000 responses annually, a significant increase from the previous 4,000.

Reflecting on a pilot study conducted by the UK Gambling Commission in early 2022, which attracted 1,078 participants, Sturgis remarked, “The move to self-completion was the correct decision.” He approved of the new method, highlighting its capacity to maintain response rates and adapt to challenges like those posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, Sturgis also provided a set of seven recommendations for the UK Gambling Commission to refine the survey further. These included understanding response biases, evaluating potential biases in questions for online participants, and considering future comparisons with face-to-face interview data.

Tim Miller, the UK Gambling Commission’s executive director, welcomed Sturgis’s recommendations, emphasizing the commission’s dedication to improving data collection for better regulation. Miller stated, “Understanding the impact of changes to the survey design and methodology on the data we collect is crucial,” highlighting the commission’s commitment to continuous improvement.

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