The UK Gambling Commission publishes an annual independent report of findings into the investigation of all forms of gambling in the UK, known as The British Gambling Prevalence Survey 2010.
The most recent report was released last week and the most interesting results can be summarised as follows:
FORMS OF GAMBLING
- 73 percent or 35.5 million adults (classified as aged 16 and over) residing in Great Britain had participated in some form of gambling over the last year. This figure is higher than those reported in previous years (72% in 1999 and 68% in 2007)
- The National Lottery is the most popular form of gambling in which UK citizens participate. This remains in line with previous year’s results.
- In 2010, after the National Lottery, the most popular forms of gambling were reported to be: other lotteries (25%), scratch cards (24%), betting on horse races (16%), playing slot machines (13%) and private betting (11%).
- Excluding those who play the National Lottery 56% of surveyed adults are reported to indulge in other forms of gambling mentioned above.
- Of the surveyed participants, 14% had gambled online in the past year, purchasing lottery tickets, placing sports bets (football pools ranked highly) or playing casino games like bingo and slots.
- 17 percent of people who had gambled in the past year had done so both online and at land based venues.
- Only 2 percent of gamblers had only gambled online in the past year.
- When it comes to gender and gambling, the survey showed that men were more likely to gamble than women (75 percent for men and 71 percent for women).
- While men ranked higher overall for participating in most gambling activities, women were found to play bingo and scratch cards more often.
- Past year gambling activities were reportedly lowest amongst the youngest and oldest age groups surveyed and highest amongst those in the 44-64 age category.
- Besides football pools and the national lottery, there were 5 main gambling activities which were reportedly participated in at least once a month by half or more of all participants. These include:
- Bingo played at land based venues (54 percent),
- Spread betting (53 percent),
- Online casino games (53 percent)
- Fixed odd betting terminals (52 percent),
- Poker played at a pub/club (50 percent).
ATTITUDES TO GAMBLING & ASSOCIATED BEHAVIOURS
People gamble for a number of reasons from entertainment and relaxation to profit. The report showed the following indications when it came to attitudes towards gambling and associated behaviours:
- The majority of those who had gambled in the past year reported that they gambled for the chance of winning big money (83 percent), for fun and entertainment (78 percent), to make money (59 percent) or for excitement (51 percent).
- In comparison to results in 2007, the 2010 survey indicated that overall attitudes to gambling have become increasingly positive. Although the general view is still somewhat negative, it is less negative than previously reported; indicating that attitudes are changing as gambling becomes more main stream.
Problem Gambling was also highlighted in the report with figures indicating a 0.2% increase in the number of problem gamblers in the UK over the last 3 years, but with more people gambling, this is inevitable and the commission noted that it was impossible to determine whether the increase is a definite trend or a temporary fluctuation.
When compared with other European countries like Germany, Switzerland and Norway, the findings are similar while findings in the USA, Australia and South Africa are slightly lower.