Thursday 16 May 2024

Gambling suicides - another junk statistic

 A new article from me at The Critic...

There is one gambling-related suicide in the UK every day. There are up to 496 gambling-related suicides a year. Ten per cent of all the suicides in England are caused by gambling. 

These statistics, and other iterations of them, have become mantras for the anti-gambling lobby since January 2023 when the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) published a report claiming that there are “between 117 and 496 suicides associated with problem gambling” in England. Activists naturally focused on the larger of these two numbers and started putting it on billboards. The monetised value of years of life supposedly lost to suicide make up most of the “up to” £1.77 billion that gambling is said to cost “wider society” each year.

It turns out that these figures are based on nothing. They are a will o’ the wisp. A mirage. They exist only on a laptop in Whitehall. They are worthless.

This is an important story about OHID's statistical incompetence/corruption. Do read the rest.

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