EGBA Urges for Common Framework for Problem Gambling Screening in Europe

EGBA Urges for Common Framework for Problem Gambling Screening in Europe

There are significant differences in the way countries around Europe report and monitor problem gambling, says a new pan-European study.

The Brussels-based trade association representing the regulated and licensed gaming and betting operators in Europe, European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), released details regarding a new study published by the City, University of London. The new study was commissioned by EGBA and is a part of its commitment to better understand online gambling behaviors around Europe.

According to the whitepaper, in European countries, the levels of problem gambling vary between 0.3% to 6.4%. But while the levels of problem gambling among the adult population vary, there’s also a significant difference in the screening tools, survey methods, and target age groups. This, according to the research, makes the comparison of the problem gambling levels difficult.

“A shift towards a more common and regular monitoring and reporting framework for problem gambling would benefit all gambling sector stakeholders and support more effective and evidence-based prevention policies,” said Maarten Haijer, secretary-general at EGBA

Acknowledging that countries in Europe monitor and report problem gambling differently, EGBA’s secretary-general, Maarten Haijer, urged for the establishment of a common and regular monitoring framework. He explained that such change will bring benefits to stakeholders within the gambling sector. Moreover, Haijer outlined that a common framework will help create evidence-based policies seeking to prevent problem gambling. EGBA’s secretary general confirmed that the Association remains committed to “fully committed to promoting a stronger culture of safer gambling.” Last but not least, Haijer said that the new study sought to improve the understanding of problem gambling in Europe and bring meaningful change.

Surveys and Screening Methods Are Different around Europe

The new study outlined that 12 European countries currently conduct surveys regarding gambling prevalence and engagement. The longest interval in the regularity for those surveys is five years, while the shortest period is every quarter.

National surveys are administered using various methods. Gambling prevalence surveys or population-based gambling surveys are used in 7 countries while Health Surveys are the preferred vehicle in 3 countries.

EGBA

Overall, the most common tool used for problem gambling is PGSI. Nine European countries use that tool for screening, while four countries use more than one screening tool to determine the levels of problem gambling. Three countries use references from self-exclusion lists to estimate the problem gambling prevalence levels. Similarly to the varying rate for problem gambling, the study found that the gambling engagement rates vary in the range from 32.9% to 80% of the population of the countries a part of the research.