ONLY 10% of people in Scotland consider themselves to be gamblers even though 68% buy lottery tickets, 55% purchase scratch cards and 39% bet on sporting events, a new poll shows.

YouGov questioned adults in Scotland about their gambling habits over the last 12 months and found widespread confusion about what counts as gambling. The research showed 43% do not think that playing machine games in a seaside arcade is gambling and there is similar uncertainty about other “softer” activities – 40% do not think playing in a bingo club constitutes gambling and neither does playing the lottery (28%), or buying scratch cards (28%).

The poll was commissioned by the Industry Group For Responsible Gambling to coincide with Responsible Gambling Week, which begins tomorrow. It is a national campaign in the UK and Ireland to promote safer gambling, supported by the industry and leading gambling charities.

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The aim is to get people talking about how to gamble responsibly, without putting themselves and others at risk, and to provide year-round advice and help at

The research highlights the distinction people make between “softer” forms of gambling, which many do not regard as gambling at all, and so-called “harder” gambling, which they believe may not apply to them.

Responsible Gambling Week encourages people to remember simple tips whenever and wherever they are gambling. They include only spending what you can afford, setting limits and never chasing losses. People are asked to remember that gambling is not the answer to any problem, it shouldn’t interfere with relationships and that gambling when angry or upset is not a good idea.

More than 120,000 staff at gambling venues and online sites are taking part in Responsible Gambling Week, speaking to customers about safer gambling.