The report from the 2010 British gambling prevalence survey has been published. There are many interesting findings in this high quality study.
In the adult population, 73% participated in some form of gambling in the past year. This is a return to rates observed in 1999 (72%) and an increase from the rate observed in 2007 (68%). It is not clear, however, if problem gambling rates have increased as well. According to one of the screens used (PGSI) there is no measurable difference, while the other (DSM-IV based) shows an increase at the margins of statistical significance.
Problem gamblers are overrepresented in some forms of gambling. For instance, about 20 percent of those who regularly bet on dog races or play poker at a pub/club are problem gamblers (DSM-IV).
The report presents a new instrument for exploring gambling motives – the Reasons for Gambling Questionnaire (RGQ). Five main groups of reasons for gambling were identified: social, monetary, excitement/amusement, challenge/learning/knowledge, and escape/avoidance/coping. In this section, the report refers to my discussion of motivational models in a review of the literature from 2009 (Gambling motivation and involvement: A review of social science research).