Up to 3,800 people negatively impacted by gambling in 2017

A survey found that the national lottery is still the most popular gambling activity in Malta, with 1%-2% (1,900 – 3,800) of respondents reporting that gambling has negatively affected their lifestyle, mirroring 2015 statistics. This according to Economist Gordon Cordina while explaining the results.

In a statement, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Digital Economy spoke of the presentation of results. Around 52.8% of the Maltese population above the age of consent are estimated as having spent an average of €11.30 a week on some form of gambling activity in 2017

Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri said that, “the study looks into different aspects, from how much money an individual spends every week, to the average time spent by individual players on gaming activities, and the increase in the use of gaming related services.” He explained that in the coming months the Foundation for Responsible Gaming will intensify its work via the Take Action programme, financed by the European Social Fund, which aims at training social workers, as well as researching victims of gambling addiction.

The CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority Heathcliff Farrugia said that the survey showed that the last two years didn’t see a rise in percentage of people battling a gambling addiction.

Other points from the study were:

  • 73% of money spent on gaming go towards the national lottery, which has retained its popularity.
  • 47.2% uses games which are available for free.
  • The average time one spends on gambling is around 33 minutes a week; more than half of people spend more than 10 minutes and this reflects the number of people who participate in the national lottery.
  • People who are most into gaming are young adults or elderly citizens with a secondary level education. These are the less likely to be unemployed, employed part-time, or students.
  • Mirroring 2015 results, 1% – 2% of people have reported a negative effect of gambling in their lives; this is roughly 1,900 – 3,800 people.