Latest UK gambling participation survey shows online gambling rise

uk-gambling-commission-participation-surveyThe UK Gambling Commission has released the results of its latest gambling participation survey for the year to December 2012 (read it here). The ICM Research-conducted survey asked slightly over 4k people about their gambling activity over the previous four weeks and determined that overall gambling participation – which includes playing lotteries – was 57.3%, unchanged from 2011. Among those who copped to gambling, playing the National Lottery remained the single most popular activity, with a participation rate of 46.1%, although that was down from 47.5% in 2011. Excluding other lottery-type gambling, horse racing was the next most popular activity at 4%, followed by a four-way tie at 3% by sports betting, football pools, bingo and ‘private betting.’

It bears mentioning that some of these figures are to be taken with a grain of salt, due to the Commish having altered the wording of the questions, making direct comparisons problematic. Anyway, the amount of gamblers betting on the horses – live or virtual – with a bookmaker in person or over the phone fell from 4.5% to 3.1%. Betting on any other sport or event in person or over the phone fell from 2.6% to 2.2%. Despite the fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBT) hysteria currently gripping most of the UK media, the number of people who’d used the machines was 1%, down from 1.8% in 2011 and well off the 2009 peak of 2.5%. Football pools rose to 2.9% from 2.8%, casino table games slipped to 0.5% from 1.3%, fruit and slot machine use fell from 3.5% to 1.9%, bingo fell from 3.1% to 2.6% and live poker fell from 0.7% to 0.4%.

As for online gambling, the participation rate rose from 12.4% to 14.3%. (Excluding those whose only form of online play was the lottery, the rate rose from 6.1% to 8%.) Men were more likely to gamble online than women by a ratio of 16% to 12%. The participation rates by age group were as follows: 18-24 years old (14%), 25-34 (19%), 35-44 (20%), 55-64 (12%) and over 65 (7%). While 75% of gamblers did so exclusively in person, 13% gambled both in person and online, while 11% gambled exclusively online.

Looking at gamblers and non-gamblers alike, the number of online sports bettors rose slightly from 2.2% to 2.3% while all other forms of online gambling (poker, bingo, slots and table games) fell from 1.6% to 1.4%. Betting exchanges took a steep tumble from 1.4% to 0.5%. Looking strictly at those 8% of remote bettors who played something other than the National Lottery, betting on sports and ponies was unchanged at 2.7% as was other lottery types at 1.5% and bingo rose slightly from 0.7% to 0.8%. Everything else was in negative territory, with online casino table games falling from 1.6% to 1.4% and slots falling from 0.7% to 0.3%. Here, at least, betting exchanges held their audience, unchanged at 0.5%. Courage, Betfair