This week a report from the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and Swansea University revealed that 13.7% of RAF personnel were categorised as being "at-risk" gamblers over the past year.
The data was obtained by getting 2,000 RAF personnel with the staff filling out an online questionnaire, and then had some limited interviews with a smaller sample size after the fact. After the surveys, personnel were put into non-problem, low-risk, moderate-risk, and problem-gambling funnels. During this time 13.7% of respondents were categorised as being high-risk, and 2% of respondents had scores that indicated problem betting.
There were circumstances that are said to be contributing factors to the risk of problem gambling, including deployments, higher risk exposure in their careers, and an existing gambling culture in the RAF.
Regarding the study RAF Chief of Staff Personnel Maria Byford said, "The health and wellbeing of our personnel is of utmost importance, so this research provides a valuable insight into some of the challenges faced by the serving community. Now, with a greater understanding of these issues, we will be able to better support personnel with the assistance of service charities like the RAF Benevolent Fund."
Swansea University Professor of Psychology and Behaviour Analysis Simon Dymond added: "This internationally significant, large-scale study shows, for the first time, that serving members of the RAF are vulnerable to gambling-related harm.
"It is important that we follow up this finding with targeted help and support, including the early identification of potential harms that arise from gambling among currently serving personnel from all services."