UKGC’s CEO criticizes gambling statistics misuse
The UKGC has recently published an open letter from its CEO, Andrew Rhodes, who talked about the misuse of statistics in the country’s gambling sector.
The letter started off by stating that due to the nature of the topic, many different parties have been actively expressing their opinions and aiming to influence the sector in the country, especially throughout the development of the UK’s gambling legislation white paper, which was released earlier this year. However, many of the arguments and opinions put forth by various industry organizations and companies have misused statistics to support their points, which the Commission deems unacceptable.
Rhodes talked about one of the most commonly misused statistics, the rate of problem gambling in the country. He wrote that many entities interpret the UK’s problem gambling rate of 0.3% incorrectly and state that 99.7% of the country’s gamblers enjoy the pastime safely, which is wrong because the problem gambling rate relates to the entirety of the United Kingdom’s population.
The CEO added that the problem gambling rate has also been misrepresented as the rate of gamblers that are at risk of experiencing gambling harms. This not only is inaccurate but also a conflation of problem gambling and gambling harms, which are similar but very different concepts.
Rhodes concluded his letter by asking those in the gambling space to take greater care when working with statistics to ensure they don’t misrepresent any data or use it in the incorrect contexts.