GambleAware, the charity and advocate for responsible gambling, has found that online casino surveys have been producing higher estimates of gambling harm. This is in comparison to information sourced from self-completion techniques, such as through face-to-face interviews.
The new information has come to light in the wake of GambleAware publishing its commission research. The research has been authored by Professors Patrick Sturgis and Jouni Kuha of the London School of Economics. This research is focused on the methodological differences between surveys and how they affect the accuracy of the estimates of gambling harms.
Shift To Online Data
Professor Sturgis said that given the high and rising costs of in-person surveying, limits on sample sizes and the frequency of interviews are often imposed. As a result, the professors are recommending a shift to predominantly online data collection in future. He advised that this should be supplemented by periodic in-person surveys.
The research conducted by Professors Sturgis and Kuha analysed eight different surveys. Each one investigated how the differences in the design and formats of the online casino surveys can affect the accuracy of gambling harm estimates. The surveys reviewed in the report are believed to have produced widely varying estimates of problem gambling throughout Great Britain.
Alison Clare, a spokesperson and Information and Knowledge Director at GambleAware, said that the organisation aims to offer prevention, treatment and support to those who need it most. In order to do this, accurate evidence and information is absolutely vital to GambleAware’s cause.
GambleAware is a charity that has long been an advocate for healthy and responsible relationships with gambling and online casinos. The organisation commissioned this study in order to help it better understand the real demand for treatment. This will help them better assess gambling harms across Great Britain. The findings of this research will help better inform and direct the organisation’s measures in the coming years and months.
The group has put together a list of recommendations for future surveys based off the information it managed to obtain through the professors’ research. These recommendations include:
- The measurement of gambling prevalence should move to an online space, given the rising costs of in-person surveys.
- Online interviewing should always be conducted alongside a program of methodological testing and development. These measures should be put in place in order to mitigate any selection bias.
- There should be no complete cessation of in-person surveying. Instead, probability sampling and face-to-face interviewing should be used in order to provide periodic benchmarks.