MGA publishes inquiry on consumption of gambling services

Survey results show 1%-2% of  the Maltese population reported adverse effects on their lifestyle after acquiring a gambling service

The Malta Gaming Authority has released the results of its Inquiry on the Consumption of Gambling Services Consumption by Maltese Residents in 2017.

The published results revealed that spending was up 3 million from 2015, with 2017 figures showing the population had spent €128 million on gaming services. Revealingly, 1-2% of the population had reported some form of negative effect on their lifestyle after purchasing a gambling service. National Lottery games took top place as the preferred gambling activity for Maltese residents.

sigma igaming MGA publishes inquiry on consumption of gaming services National Lottery games remain the most prevalent form of gambling activity, taking up around 73% of expenditure on gambling and gaming activities in Malta.

Commenting during the launch of the survey, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri opined that the survey provides a clear picture on how all those involved can work better together to be more effective in providing help to victims and their families.

Hon. Schembri also emphasised that the ‘social aspect was at the core of the Government’s work’, emphasising  that the survey, which was carried out in 2017, aims to provide a holistic approach to gambling and gaming behaviours, with thought given not just to economic growth but to the social considerations which also come into play.

“The survey looks into different aspects, from how much money an individual spends every week, the average time spent by individual players in gaming activities, and the increase in the use of gaming related services.”

He went on to say that, ‘the new gaming Act that was put into effect as from this year, which strengthened the regulator’s work whilst putting consumer’s protection at the heart of our work. The 1%-2% of the population that admitted to having a gambling problem is very similar to the trend in Europe.’

“To address this, the Responsible Gaming Foundation will upscale its work through the Take Action programme funded by the European Social Fund aimed at training social workers and through research amongst the victims of gambling.”

The survey will be carried out every 2 years by the Responsible Gaming Foundation.

“Players are always at the core of all our policies, hence it is extremely important to gather as much information as possible on the gambling behaviour of punters coming from different socio-economic backgrounds, in order to be able to better achieve the cardinal regulatory objective of protecting them.

This survey shows that over the last two years, there was no increase in the percentage of persons who are considered problem gamblers. Having said this, behind the statistics there are persons and families who are adversely affected and as such, it is our duty together with all those who are offering gambling services, to ensure the necessary safeguards are in place to protect and provide guidance to those in need” said The MGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Heathcliff Farrugia.

Read the full survey here.

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