The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed that online gambling is currently at its highest-ever rate in the country, with 1 in 4 British people placing wagers.
According to information unveiled by the UK gambling regulatory body, 25.7% of the 4,018 survey participants aged 16 or above had gambled online over the past 4 weeks. This was an increase from the 23.8% who placed bets over the same period in the previous year, and from the 18.5% in the previous 5 years.
As part of the survey, the 4,018 respondents were asked about gambling on a total of 4 occasions in the period from June 2021 and March 2022. The research also found that 43% of the survey respondents had gambled in general over the previous four weeks, with their number representing a decline from the 47% registered before the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.
Analysts from the UK Addiction Treatment Group (UKAT) have noted that the largest increase in overall gambling was registered within the 16-24 age group.
They shared that almost 35% of the Brits between the age of 16 and 24 who took part in the survey had gambled in the past 4 weeks, with the figure representing a 5% increase from the almost 30% reported in the previous year. Another age group that marked an increase in gambling participation in comparison to pre-pandemic levels is the one of people between the age of 55 and 64, with their gambling participation rates rising from 48.7% in March 2020 to 49.8% in March 2022.
The analysts highlighted that was also the highest increase in online gambling participation rates.
Sports Betting Remains the Brits’ Favourite Form of Online Gambling
According to the results of the survey, the most popular form of online gambling was sports betting, and betting on football in particular, along with the National Lottery and other lotteries.
The survey data analysis provided by the UK Addiction Treatment Group also revealed that the rate of British residents who are considered to be exposed at the moderate risk of addiction has also increased, with the number of women at moderate risk of developing problem gambling behaviour increasing from 0.4% in March 2021 to 0.9% in March 2022.
According to the data provided by the UK Gambling Commission, in-person gambling rates have once again increased. There was a 3% growth from the figures registered last year, which indicated signs of recovery since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. The country’s gambling regulatory body suggested that the increase registered in in-person betting was triggered by the return of sports betting, horse betting, slot and fruit machines, as well as bingo games after the ending of the lengthy lockdowns during the pandemic.
The UKAT’s consultant treatment lead Nuno Albuquerque explained that the latest report has shown that both gambling participation and problem gambling rates rose. He further noted that online gambling is particularly dangerous thanks to easy accessibility and discretion. According to Mr Albuquerque, more serious conversations on the matter are needed, especially in terms of proposed affordability checks and a full gambling advertising ban.
Olivia Cole has worked as a journalist for several years now. Over the last couple of years she has been engaged in writing about a number of industries and has developed an interest for the gambling market in the UK.