Dear Matthew

GAMBLING INDUSTRY STATISTICS

We recently completed our review of the compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics of Gambling Commission’s (GC) Industry Statistics. We welcome your ambition to further develop your official statistics and to seek our input in doing so. In thinking about trustworthiness, quality and value, we have identified areas of strength against the Code of Practice and elements where further developments could enhance the statistics.

We appreciate the positive way that the team engaged with us during the compliance check and its willingness to improve the statistics is very clear. We also note that you have invited the Government Statistical Service’s Good Practice Team to give training to your statisticians, further demonstrating your commitment towards making improvements to the statistics.

We found many positive illustrations of good practice in the Industry Statistics. The presentation is well laid out, and makes good use of infographics and leads the reader easily through the subject matter. The statistics include details about each of the gambling sub-sectors and there are useful appendices giving further explanation. As part of considering the further insights that these statistics could bring about the gambling industry, we encourage you to engage more widely. Being able to incorporate the views of a wide range of bodies, including interested lobby and industry groups and academics, could help you to make further improvements that would deliver more insight from these important data sources.

You may be able to reinforce the quality and trustworthiness of the statistics by including more detailed documentation of your arrangements for assuring the quality of data. When users can read clearly about how the data are quality assured, they are able to better interpret the strengths and limitations of the statistics. We welcome your project to optimise the data collection process which will undoubtedly lead to improved practices and information about data quality.

You also publish other interesting statistics outside of the main Industry Statistics such as ‘National Lottery statistics – Funds raised for good causes’. In terms of value, these offer interesting supplementary material. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) also publishes gambling statistics. We consider that integrating your data, and looking to link more closely with the DCMS statistics, could lead to extra value being added through providing a more coherent and thorough narrative. This also reflects the requirement on DCMS from our recent assessment of its economic statistics.

Our domain lead will continue to engage with your team over the coming months as it continues to develop these statistics.

I am copying this letter to James Green as the responsible statistician for Industry Statistics at Gambling Commission and to Jackie Orme, the Head of Profession at DCMS.

Yours sincerely

Mark Pont
Assessment Programme Lead

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