The Gambling Commission has released the latest edition of its ongoing study concerning remote gambling participation. The study, conducted by international data giant ICM, offered the following four points as its key findings:

• Between January 1, 2007 and March 31, 2008 (ie an average of figures for June 2007, September 2007, December 2007 and March 2008), 8.8% of the 8,000 adults surveyed said they had participated in at least one form of remote gambling (through a computer, mobile phone or interactive/digital TV) in the previous month. This is the same as the 2007 calendar year figure of 8.8% and compares with the 2006 calendar year figure of 7.2%. 90.9% of respondents said they had not participated in any form of remote gambling. (Where figures do not add to 100% it is because respondents refused to answer or answered “don’t know.”)

• Those participating in remote gambling remain more likely to be male than female, and are more likely to be aged 18-34.

• If those only playing National Lottery games remotely are excluded, 5.1% of respondents had participated in remote gambling. Overall, 6.3% of respondents said they had gambled remotely on the National Lottery/tickets for the National Lottery draw in the previous month (either only or in addition to other types of gambling activity).

• Remote gambling via a computer, laptop or handheld device was most popular (7.1% of all adult respondents), followed by gambling via mobile phone (2.4%) and interactive/digital TV (under 2%.)

The survey is conducted quarterly by telephone and focuses on a group of 2000 adults (defined as persons over the age of 18) found to be statistically representative of the entirety of the UK. To cut down on “sample volatility” (false statistics arrived at by over-investigating a certain geographical, economic or gendered segment of the population) the study engages new adults every March, June, September and December to bring its yearly total to 8,000 surveyed adults.

The survey itself consists of a number of categorizing questions (such as “How old are you?” “What gender are you?” ) and the following questions quoted verbatim from the study itself:

Have you gambled (including on the National Lottery or other lotteries) for money using any of the following methods in the last month?

• National Lottery/Tickets for the National Lottery Draw
• Poker rooms/tournaments
• Betting (e.g. horses, greyhound, football)
• Gaming machines (slots)
• Other lotteries
• Casino type games
• Bingo
• Football pools
• Other
• Keno/virtual sports & other games

With “remote gambling” defined as placing a money wager through one of the following means:

• Internet through a PC, laptop or handheld device
• Wireless Application Protocol (WAP)/internet or text (Short Message Service (SMS)) on a mobile phone
• Interactive/digital TV

The next publication of the quarterly study is expected to be released in July or August and will deal with information gathered between the months of March, 2008 and June, 2008.

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