EGBA Suggests the Establishment of Common Gambling Addiction Monitoring Methodology in Europe

A new pan-European study found there are some considerable differences in the way problem gambling is monitored and reported in European countries.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), a trade association based in Brussels that represents the licensed and regulated gambling and betting companies in Europe, unveiled some details linked to a new study published by the City, University of London. The new report, which was commissioned by the EGBA, is part of the trade body’s efforts to provide a better understanding of online gambling behaviors in the territory of Europe.

The whitepaper of the study found that the gambling addiction rates in European countries vary from 0.3% to 6.4%. However, while the gambling addiction rates among the adult population of Europe vary, a significant difference in the survey methods, screening tools, and target age groups was also found. According to the survey, these differences in the survey approach make the gambling addiction levels in the European countries hardly comparable.

The secretary-general at EGBA, Maarten Haijer, noted that a shift towards a regular and more common monitoring and reporting framework for problem gambling would be a great solution for all stakeholders in the countries’ gambling sectors. According to Mr. Haijer, reducing the differences between the countries’ study approaches would make the gambling addiction prevention policies more effective and evidence-based.

Different Monitoring and Reporting Methods Used by European Countries in Terms of Problem Gambling

After making an acknowledgment that European countries monitor and report problem gambling in different manners, the EGBA’s secretary-general called for the counties to establish a regular and common monitoring framework. According to him, all stakeholders in the gambling sector will benefit from such a change, not to mention the fact that such a move will help create more effective and evidence-based problem gambling prevention policies.

Mr. Haijer has confirmed that the European Gaming and Betting Association remains committed to the promotion of safer gambling and also noted that the new study sought to improve the understanding of gambling addiction in Europe. The study was also aimed at bringing some meaningful changes across the sector, Mr. Haijer noted.

As mentioned above, the new research found that surveys regarding the prevalence of gambling and customers’ gambling engagement are currently being conducted in a total of 12 countries within Europe. The shortest period in the regularity of the surveys is every 3 months, while the longest one is 5 years. The EGBA, however, found that national surveys are organized and held by using various methods, with gambling prevalence research or population-based gambling research being used in 7 European countries, while health surveys being preferred in 3 European countries.

The trade association representing the regulated and licensed gambling and betting operators in Europe also found that the most commonly used tool for gambling addiction is the so-called Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI), which is currently used as a screening tool by 9 European counties. Also, 4 countries currently use several screening tools in order to determine the gambling addiction rates. The latest research also found that 3 European countries use references from self-exclusion lists in order to estimate the levels of gambling addiction prevalence.

According to the study, the gambling engagement rates across Europe vary from 32.9% to 80%.