Wardle H, Kolesnikov A, Fiedler I, Critchlow N & Hunt K (2022) Is the economic model of gambling dependent on problem gambling? Evidence from an online survey of regular sports bettors in Britain. International Gambling Studies. https://doi.org/10.1080/14459795.2022.2088823
Understanding how the gambling industry generates revenue is of paramount importance. Questions about whether higher volumes of expenditure are concentrated among a small proportion of gamblers, and how this varies by problematic gambling status, underpin policy debate about consumer protection. Analyzing data from two timepoints (T0; T2) from a British longitudinal study of regular sports bettors, we explored both for total (gross) spend and gross spend on individual activities: (a) the concentration of self-reported spend on gambling among individuals; and (b) the extent to which spending was disproportionately generated by those with elevated Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) scores. Results showed that gross gambling expenditure was unequal (GINI-coefficient >0.70 for most activities). At both timepoints, those with a PGSI score of 3+ had an elevated share of spending: at T2, 14.1% of PGSI 3+ gamblers accounted for 43.5% of gross gambling spend. There were differences by activity: lotteries displayed less reliance on those with a PGSI score of 3+ whereas this group contributed over 80% of gross spend on online casinos. Policy attention should focus on reframing the underlying economic model on which some gambling activities are predicated, creating more equal patterns of consumption and less reliance on those harmed.
Gambling industry; expenditure; problem gambling; policy; money; survey
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
International Gambling Studies