FSD3384 Gambling Harm Survey 2017

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  • Salonen, Anne (National Institute for Health and Welfare. Tobacco, Gambling and Addiction)


addiction, advertising, gambling, gaming machines, internet, interpersonal relations, marketing, monopolies, social problems


In the beginning of 2017, Finland's three gambling operators that had exclusive rights to provide gambling services, Finland's Slot Machine Association RAY, Veikkaus and Fintoto, merged into a single government-owned organisation (Veikkaus). The 2017 survey aimed to chart Finnish gambling habits, social and healthcare-related problems caused by gambling, and opinions on the visibility of advertising and marketing by Finnish gambling organisations. The goal of the study was to examine possible consequences of the merge. The survey was a follow-up study to FSD3261 Gambling Harm Survey 2016. The data for the follow-up 2017 study were collected in 2018 but as the study examines the respondents' gambling during the previous year, the title refers to the year 2017. The study was conducted by Statistics Finland and commissioned by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).

First, the respondents were asked about the reasoning for a government-owned and government-regulated gambling market (e.g. securing gambling profits for the state, supporting Finnish art, science, sports, and social services, reducing the harm caused by gambling, preventing foreign competition). Their opinions on marketing and advertising by these organisations were examined with questions regarding, for example, how often the respondents had seen gambling advertisements on billboards, television, the internet etc.

Gambling habits were examined with questions regarding the frequency of playing games of chance, such as lotteries or horse betting, and reasons for playing them. Knowledge on aspects relating to gambling, such as the chances of winning, warning signs of excessive gambling, and health-related or financial consequences of gambling were charted. The study also surveyed whether the respondents found gambling a problem, how often they had felt in 2017 that it was a problem, and whether they were familiar with or had used different services provided by Veikkaus to help control gambling. The amount of money the respondents had used for gambling in 2017 per week, per month and during the whole year was also surveyed, as well as in what sort of environments they played games of chance (e.g. at home, at work, in kiosks, at Casino Helsinki) and with whom (alone, with an acquaintance or a group of acquaintances, or with an unknown person or a group of unknown persons). It was also surveyed whether the respondents gambled on the internet and used a PC or a mobile device, such as a smartphone or a tablet computer, for online gambling.

Next, the Problem and Pathological Gambling Measure (PPGM) was used to evaluate the respondents' gambling habits. They were also asked about harm caused by gambling on their lives in general as well as relating to their economical situation, work or studies, health, emotional well-being and relationships. Other possible types of harm on the respondents' lives were also surveyed.

Finally, the respondents were asked if their social circle in 2017 included persons who, in their opinion, gambled too much. It was queried who these persons were in relation to the respondents and what sort of problems these persons' gambling had caused for the respondents.

Background variables included gender, education level, net income (categorised), economic activity and occupational status, age group and NUTS3 region.

Study description in machine readable DDI-C 2.5 format

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