Challenges to Data Collection
Since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, the commission has been unable to collect data each year due to school closures and restrictions on association. This made it hard for researchers to get verifiable data.
During the hiatus, the watchdog redesigned the survey and generated new questions that it asked the young ones concerning gambling habits, concerns and issues.
In addition, the watchdog noted that researching gambling is tricky. This is because most 11 to 16-year-olds do not understand much about gambling, including what is or is not part of the activity. Therefore, the questions have to be framed in such a way that it is easy for respondents to give the correct answer.
In addition, the organisation says that it also covers sensitive questions that may help it identify pre-teens who may be having problems with their gambling. This can help them break the habit before they reach the legal gambling age.
Different Questions for the Young
Knowing whether a young person has problematic gambling behaviour is complex. Many do not know about it since they may be getting cash from their guardians. Therefore, the organisation must generate questions that push them to open up. These questions are different from the ones directed to adults.
Steps to Improving Research
The push to improve the research started in 2019 when UKGC had the report peer-reviewed by the Government Statistical Service. This feedback will be used to improve the 2022 report.
The changes will distinguish between active involvement in gambling by spending cash and participating in the wider gambling experience with friends and family. The 2022 report will only focus on gambling activities that the young have either experienced or actively participated in over the last year. It will only feature questions that are set in the problem gambling screener that is adapted for youth. This way, it will identify those who use their cash for gambling.