Results from a 2015 survey conducted by the UK Gambling Commission have been published, and they show a changing trend in gambling behaviours in the United Kingdom. The report was formed by surveying 4,000 people across the country via telephone to find out if and how they gamble online – what devices they tend to use (phone, computer, tablet), which sites they use and how many different accounts they have.
The report found that gambling participation levels in the UK have fallen since 2012, decreasing from 57% in 2012 to 45% in 2015. Commentators have attributed the fall in UK gambling to the declining popularity of the state-franchised National Lottery with fewer lottery tickets being purchased. The UK Gambling Commission report showed that participation in the National Lottery has fallen from 46% to 32% in the same period (2012-2016) however it still remains the most popular gambling activity undertaken by UK residents.
The survey clearly provides evidence that the most popular location to gamble is within the home – with 97% of the people polled who gamble saying they have placed bets at home. When online gambling was surveyed, it was also clear that laptops came first as the preferred gambling device followed by mobiles or tablets, with 50% of all 23-34 year olds having used at least one of these devices to place bets with.
The programme director of the UK Gambling Commission, Paul Hope, commented that “it’s vital that we monitor gambling trends and behaviour across society. Reports such as these are essential for us when developing regulations and for the Government when developing public policies on gambling.” The UKGC report aimed to explore and to understand people’s participation in gambling, UK society’s perceptions of gambling and the rates of problem gambling across the country.
By analysing the recent gambling trends in the UK, regulating bodies will be better equipped to deal with those who are at high risk of developing a gambling addiction, and find out which demographics are most in need of attention. The report discovered that 18-24 year olds are the group most at risk of addiction – so the Gambling Commissions will now know that this section needs educating on the potential risks of gambling practices.
The report found that online gambling companies are also making efforts to recognise and deal with problem gambling. Several big name operators now provide accessible information on responsible gambling for their customers, allowing them to identify addiction and take steps to reduce the likelihood of problem gambling developing.