UKGC report finds gambling participation on the rise

A report released by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) looking into ‘Gambling participation in 2018: behaviour, awareness and attitudes’ has found that the number of people who have participated in gambling has increased since December 2017.

The survey, carried out by telephone and online by independent market research company Populus, found that 46 per cent of respondents had participated in any form of gambling, up from 45 per cent in 2017.

Mobile betting was also found to be on the rise, with 55 per cent of respondents stating that they had gambled using either a mobile phone or tablet in the last four weeks, an increase of four per cent.

Participation in the national lottery continued to be the most popular gambling activity, closely followed by scratch cards and other lotteries. The UKGC report stated: “National Lottery draw players are much more likely to gamble to win in general (53 per cent) than to gamble for fun (20 per cent).

“Conversely, machines in bookmakers (FOBTs) players are much more likely to gamble for fun (58 per cent) than to win (32 per cent).

“Of those who brought tickets for a charity lottery or other lottery, 55 per cent reported gambling to support good causes. This compares to 15 per cent who brought tickets for the National Lottery draws, and 5 per cent of those who purchased scratchcards

While football and horseracing were the most betting activities, with 5.7 and 3.8 per cent respectively of participants having placed bets on the sports.

Online betting on horseracing has seen a marked increase, with a growth of 10 per cent to 55 per cent. This is a significant increase from 2015, whereby 38 per cent of respondents had placed an online bet on horseracing.

A spokesperson for the UKGC stated: “A key factor that influences where someone gambles is a company with a reputation for being fair and trustworthy.

“Consequently, responsible gambling companies that deliver great customer service will be at an increasingly competitive advantage.

“As the regulator, trust, safety and fairness are vital to us and we want everyone to focus on how we can make gambling fairer and safer for all. This includes operators, charities, researchers and treatment providers who have a role in working with us to build a stronger culture of innovation and evaluation to benefit consumers and reduce harm.”

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