New findings from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities also claim London has the highest problem gambling rate in country
New UK government research has claimed 1.6 million adults in England who are experiencing gambling harm could benefit from treatment or support for their gambling.
The research, which was commissioned by the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities and conducted by the University of Sheffield and the University of Glasgow, was conducted between September and December 2022.
Of the headline 1.6 million figure, data suggests that 970,000 of these individuals would benefit from “level two intensity” treatment, which usually involves two to three guided sessions with a gambling specialist.
At the higher end of the scale, around 243,000 people would benefit from “level four intensity” treatment, covering eight to 14 sessions of cognitive behavioural therapy led by a psychologist.
Lastly, the data estimates that 40,000 adults would benefit from the most intensive form of treatment, which is a 12-week residential treatment programme with one-to-one and group therapy sessions.
Researchers also broke down the prevalence of gambling-related harm, and subsequent potential for treatment, by region in the country.
London emerged as the area with the highest problem gambling rate per 100,000 population in England.
For every 100,000 people living in London, around 3,835 people require treatment for gambling-related harm. Extrapolating this figure resulted in a point estimate of 266,707 people in London requiring treatment for harmful gambling.
The North West closely followed the capital with a rate per 100,000 population of 3,782, giving a point estimate of 219,210.
The South East had the lowest rate per 100,000 of 3,223.
The researchers estimated the prevalence rate using NHS England’s Health Survey for England between 2015 and 2018. This was done to obtain a large enough sample size for the data.
Taking this data, the researchers applied statistical techniques to determine the probability of respondents being placed into a subsequent treatment category.
Researchers also used data including age, sex, regional unemployment rate and how deprived an area is to establish which treatment category would be most suitable.
The release of the latest government data comes less than a month after the Gambling Commission’s Gambling Survey for Great Britain estimated the problem gambling rate in the UK stood at 2.5%.