GambleAware Reassured by Study on Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) Effectiveness

GambleAware, a leading charity in the UK gambling industry, expressed its reassurance following an independent study on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI) scale. Despite some limitations, the study highlighted the value of the PGSI as a tool for estimating the potential risk of problem gambling among large groups. This reassurance comes at a crucial time as the UK finalizes consultations on its White Paper.

The PGSI is a set of nine questions designed to assess gambling behavior and estimate the extent of gambling problems. While its effectiveness has been the subject of ongoing debates due to its non-clinical origins, a recent independent study commissioned by GambleAware found that the PGSI scale remains an effective tool for estimating the potential risk of gambling harm. The study, conducted by Ipsos UK and based on a dataset of over 21,000 people from the 2020 and 2021 Annual GB Treatment and Support Survey, revealed a strong and consistent connection between higher PGSI scores and increased rates of psychological distress.

The study also emphasized the value of the PGSI as a tool for integrating mental health interventions when treating individuals with high PGSI scores. It recommended the use of the standard nine-question test version whenever possible for accurate results and effective and timely treatment.

GambleAware’s director of evidence and insights, Haroon Chowdry, expressed relief at the effectiveness of the PGSI scale in identifying different levels of harm. He stressed the importance of collaboration for effective treatment and urged other interested parties to utilize the recent findings to evaluate problem gambling at both individual and population levels.

Furthermore, Ipsos UK Research Director Steven Ginnis noted that the PGSI worked best in conjunction with other tools and methods to form a comprehensive diagnostic for individuals. He urged organizations and charities to rely on it primarily for evaluating large groups.

These recent findings underscore GambleAware’s ongoing efforts to protect the UK populace from the dangers of gambling harm. The charity’s collaboration with the government has been successful in mitigating the negative impact of the industry, and its dedication and valuable feedback will continue to shape the UK gambling landscape.

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