Supplementary memorandum submitted by
As you will know, BACTA submitted its memorandum
of evidence to the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee
on the above subject in October last year.
We have subsequently had drawn to our attention
the oral evidence given to the Committee by Dr Sue Fisher of the
University of Plymouth on 14 December 2000, which has recently
In that evidence, on page 182, in reply to question
464 asked by Mrs Organ about compulsive gaming, Dr Fisher stated:
"The only major study which has been done of adults in this
country on gambling is the one recently done by Gamcare into about
8,500 adults over 16. They used two different measures but I think
they found the rate was something like 1.8 per cent, but I am
not certain and would have to check that."
We do not know if Dr Fisher did, indeed check
that figure. However, to assist the Committee and for the avoidance
of any doubt, the Gamcare study entitled "Gambling Behaviour
in Britain: Results from the British Gambling Prevalence Survey",
which was published in June 2000, said on page iii of its Summary
of Findings: "Among the population aged 16 and over, the
prevalence of problem gambling in Britain is 0.8 per cent according
to the SOGS and 0.6 per cent acording to the DSM-IV." SOGS
stands for the South Oaks Gambling Screen and DSM-IV is the Diagnostic
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 4th edition. Both are
the most widely used screens to determine whether or not someone
is a problem gambler.
BACTA finds it surprising that Dr Fisher, who
is supposedly an expert in the field of problem gambling, was
not aware of the correct figures from the Gamcare survey, which
is the most recent and comprehensive survey of gambling in Britain
ever undertaken. Her erroneous figure of 1.8 per cent effectively
exaggerated the extent of problem gambling in Britain by 200 per
cent, when measured against the DSM-IV finding of 0.6 per cent.
We would be very grateful if this letter could
be brought to the attention of all members of the Culture, Media
& Sport Select Committee.