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UK online gambling continues to rise

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UK in-play sports betting continues to fall

UK online gambling showed a spike in participation both at home and at the office in 2019, while online in-play sports betting continues to fall.

the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) released its latest gambling participation survey for 2019, which found that 47% of respondents had engaged in some form of gambling in the past four weeks, up one point from the 2018 survey. That number falls to 32% (unchanged) when you exclude those whose only gambling was on National Lottery draws.

Online gambling participation was up three points to 21% in 2019, but this figure shrinks to 16.6% (+2.2 points) excluding online lottery-only participants. Those who gamble online are significantly more likely to do so via their mobile devices (50%, +6) than their laptops (38%, -6) or desktop computers (26%, -2).

Most online gamblers choose to play at home (95%), although those who sneak in a little play at work was up three points to 15% (largely driven by those in the 45-54 age demo). A slightly smaller number (12%) gamble during their daily commute to work.

The frequency of overall gambling was either flat or down in all categories except those who gamble “once a month, less than once a week,” which rose two points to 33%.

Those who gambled on a machine in a betting shop fell by nearly half to just 0.8% in 2019, likely due to the government-imposed reduction in maximum betting stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) from £100 to just £2 in April 2019.

The number of respondents who felt gambling is fair and can be trusted fell one point to 29% while those who think gambling is associated with crime jumped five points to 43%. Respondents were most likely to base their opinions on gambling from television news reports (40%) than via personal experience (31%) or newspapers (26%).

While overwhelming majorities of respondents think there’s too many gambling opportunities (82%, +3) and gambling threatens families (73%, +2), three-fifths of respondents believe it should be up to the individual to decide if and when to gamble, although that latter stat was down two points from 2018.

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