Gambling Participation in the UK

chris brown
Written by Chris Brown
Published on Wednesday 13th May 2015, 9:54 am
Posted in: Casino Business


Casino Business

The Gambling Commission has published survey data on gambling participation in the UK for the year to March 2015. Whilst not the most exciting of documents at first glance, especially to those who have any kind of aversion to statistical content, a closer inspection reveals some very interesting facts. The survey data was compiled from four quarterly surveys conducted by ICM Research in June, September and December 2014, and March 2015. 


Of the respondents who took part, 51% said that they had participated in at least one form of gambling in the previous four weeks, which is down from 56% for the year to March 2014 and from 58% in the year to March 2013. If National Lottery participation is taken out of the equation, that figure falls to 31%. The percentage of respondents who participated in one or more forms of online gambling was 15%, and if the National Lottery is removed from that response, the percentage falls to 9%. Overall, 48% of female respondents had gambled in some manner during the previous four weeks, whilst the corresponding percentage for male respondents was 55%.

National Lottery draws attracted the highest level of participation, with 36% of respondents having played. 13% of people participated in other lotteries and 9% had played scratch cards. Of the non-lottery gambling activities, Sports Betting and Private Betting each attracted 4% of respondents, with Horse Racing and Football Pools betting attracting 3% each. Fruit or Slot Machines attracted 2% of respondents.

Football Pools and National Lottery betting dominated the attentions of those who gamble online, with 28% and 23% of respondents participating. Bingo, which attracted 22% of online players in the year to March 2013, has been in decline since, and the figure for the year to March 2015 was 18%. As far as in-person gambling was concerned, the most popular activities were participation in Casino Games (98%), the Football Pools (90%) and National Lottery draws (85%).

The frequency at which respondents gambled in the previous four weeks to being surveyed has reduced in recent years. 17% of respondents said that they had gambled on two or more days per week (down from 20% in 2013), 39% said that they had gambled once a week (down from 44% in 2013) and 18% said that they had gambled less than once a month (up from 12% in 2013).

Various conclusions can be reached on the basis of this data, but the most obvious one seems to be that slightly fewer people gambled in the year to March 2015 than was the case in the years to March 2014 and March 2013. This is possibly due to people having tightened their belts in recent years due to the austerity drive, and if that is the case it means that we could well expect gambling participation to rise once again as the economic outlook continues to improve.

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