30+ Fascinating Statistics About Gambling in the UK

Fact-checked

The gambling industry is on the rise in the United Kingdom – this is partially due to the growing number of online gambling sites, which have made gambling more accessible than ever. The gambling statistics UK provided by the UK Gambling Commission show that a large portion of the population gambles regularly, whether it’s lottery tickets, sports betting, or horse racing.

Gambling Statistics UK Image 1

Gambling Statistics UK Has to Offer: Fascinating Facts

  • The UK gambling industry is worth £14 billion as of 2019.
  • 47% of adult British citizens engaged in some form of gambling in the past month.
  • The National Lottery is the most popular form of gambling.
  • The average Brit spends £2.60 on gambling every week.
  • Gambling addiction costs the UK population £1.2 billion per year.
  • Gambling is a popular pastime activity among people between 35-55.

British Gambling Expressed in Money

Gambling in the UK costs Brits substantial amounts of money – the numbers on a national level are staggering, although some people only gamble with small sums and for recreational purposes. 

#1 The gambling industry has a yearly revenue of £14 billion

(Finder)

The gambling industry is worth over £14 billion yearly, £14.3 to be exact. Although there has been a drop in revenue (from £14.5 billion), this is prescribed to the rising popularity of online gaming

#2 The average Brit spends £2.60 on gambling per week

(Finder)

The average British person spends £2.60 a week on gambling. Gambling statistics reveal that people with higher incomes spend £4.20 per week on gambling, while people with lower incomes spend significantly less – £1.50 a week.

#3 The gross gambling yield for half of 2020 was £5.9 billion

(Gambling Commission) 

The gambling sector is very profitable – between April and September 2020, the gross gambling yield (GGY) for the industry was £5.9 billion.

#4 Online casinos are the highest-grossing games of chance in the industry

(Finder)

How much does a casino make? The total gross gambling yield of virtual casinos reached £3,190 million in 2019, making the online casino the most popular game in the UK. This is followed by non-remote betting with £2,812 million and remote betting in third place at £2,121 million. 

#5 The National Lottery is the second highest-grossing sector of the industry

(Gambling Commission)

Lottery ticket sales amounted to £3.9 billion, equivalent to a GGY of £1.6 billion. However, the lottery also contributes to good causes – £775 million have been donated to charity. Other lotteries, minus the National Lottery, reported a GGY of £310.5 million, with £196 million donated to charitable causes.

#6 Bingo generated £910 million in revenue over one year

(Statista)

Gambling data shows that bingo is one of the most beloved games among the British public. The game is played in traditional bingo halls and on the many latest bingo sites available. The combined revenue of all bingo games played between April 2019 and March 2020 was £910 million

#7 Gambling is tax-free in the United Kingdom

(Casino)

Gambling is taxed in some countries around the world, but the UK isn’t among them. Gamblers can keep the entirety of their winnings, regardless of whether they have been won online or in brick-and-mortar establishments. 

#8 Gambling addiction costs the UK up to £1.2 billion per year

(Finder)

Gambling addiction statistics show that this particular addiction costs the country between £260 million and £1.2 billion every year. These numbers are based on an approximation that estimates that 0.5% of the UK adult population are problem gamblers.

How Many People Gamble and Who Are They? 

Gambling is a long-standing tradition in the UK and many people engage in various forms as a pastime activity. Besides recreational gamblers, the UK has a large number of problem gamblers, as well as professionals. 

#9 47% of the British population engaged in gambling in the previous month

(Finder)

Almost half of the adult British population (47%), when interviewed, admitted to gambling at least once over the previous month. 

#10 Gambling is a popular activity among people aged between 35 and 55

(About Manchester)

Gambling facts confirm that the most active gamblers belong in the 35-55 range. However, gambling is starting to become increasingly popular with the younger generation – the surge of online gambling companies attracts the younger demographic, people aged 25 to 34. 

#11 Men gamble more than women

(The Edinburgh Reporter)

Men gamble more frequently than women – 51% of the male population in the UK gambles, compared to 41% of the female population. On average, 4 in 10 women in the UK engage in gambling, with 20% saying that they gamble regularly at least twice a week. 

#12 24 million people gamble online in the UK

(Xace)

Online gambling statistics for UK gambling practices show that 24 million people take part in online gaming at least once a month – that’s nearly half of the adult population! Most online gambling is done through mobile devices; 50% of online gamblers use their smartphones to place bets on sports betting websites or use one of the available casino apps

#13 39% of teens between 11 and 16 have gambled or are currently gambling

(SOS Safety Magazine)

Even though gambling is illegal for anyone under 18, a large number of teenagers (39%) admitted to gambling in the past year, while 11% said that they spent money gambling in the past week. Unfortunately, 4.4% of teenagers either have a gambling problem or are at risk of developing one, according to the illegal gambling statistics for the UK

#14 39% of seniors in the UK are gambling

(Statista)

39% of people over 65 gamblers. Although the percentage in this age group is not as high as in younger groups (48% of people aged 45-54), many seniors still participate. 

#15 1.4 million people in the UK are problem gamblers

(The Guardian)

2.7% of all adults in Great Britain (1.4 million) are problem gamblers. Although these numbers are unofficial and don’t indicate what percentage of gamblers are addicted, it’s evident that many people struggle with some sort of problem caused by gambling. 

#16 15% of problem gamblers have gambled while at work

(The Edinburgh Reporter)

15% of people who admitted they are problem gamblers said that they have engaged in online gambling while at work. Even more concerning, 7% stated that they are gambling just to earn more money. 

What Do Brits Gamble On?

As we’ve established, Brits love to gamble and are very diverse in their gambling endeavours. Let’s see what they like to put their money on!

#17 The National Lottery is the most popular form of gambling

(Finder)

UK gambling statistics for 2021 show that 30% of all British people participate in the National Lottery, making it the most common form of gambling. Popular gambling types are the other lotteries, with 13% participation, and scratchcards at 10%. 

#18 Slot games are the most popular form of online gambling

(Xace)

The transition to online gambling over the past year has made casino games very popular. Slot games are by far the most popular (69%), followed by roulette (14%) and blackjack (6%). Besides the ease of access, these games are also more affordable, requiring low deposits and offering frequent bonuses.

#19 Traditional slot machines are declining in popularity

(European Business Review)

Slot machines used to be a large part of the UK gambling industry, but with the development of online gaming, they are slowly going out of fashion. Only 3.7% of British gamblers are playing traditional slots! Many punters have transitioned to online slot games, which are more immersive and offer more substantial winnings. 

#20 Sports betting is popular among the UK public

(The Edinburgh Reporter)

7% of British citizens have wagered on sports in the past year. Brits gamble on various sports traditionally or on sports betting websites. The upside to betting sites is that the betting odds are often explained to them!

#21 Football is the most popular sport for placing bets in the UK

(Transparent Bets)

Most popular sports in the UK statistics show that football is the most popular sport among bettors – the people of Great Britain spent £786 million on football betting, making up for 40% of all sports bets. 

#22 Horse racing is the second most popular sport for betting

(European Business Review)

Horse racing is a popular sport in Great Britain and a large number of races provide people with opportunities for horse betting. 3.8% of all gamblers in the UK bet on horse races, usually with each-way bets (here’s how they work).

#23 Bingo is making a comeback

(European Business Review)

Bingo is one of the most popular games in British gambling history, but in the past few decades, the number of bingo players has drastically declined. However, the game has made a comeback with the rising number of bingo sites. Gambling statistics UK provides show that bingo is taking up 2.6% of all UK gambling. 

#24 1.6% of gambling traffic goes out to other games

(European Business Review)

It might come as a surprise, but there are numerous other games that people gamble on – especially online! Even though these games are not as popular as the lottery or sports betting, they account for 1.6% of all gambling in the UK

The Gambling Industry at a Glance

From all the statistics listed so far in this article, it’s evident that gambling is an important aspect of British life. There are still some facts you should know to get the whole picture left!

#25 Online gambling in the UK is legal

(Business Telegraph)

In the UK, online gambling is legal and regulated by the UK Gambling Commission, formed in 2005 with the Gambling Act. Online poker, casino games, bingo, lottery games, and sports betting are all considered legal forms of gambling. 

#26 The UK is a leading player in online gambling on a global level

(The Business Telegraph)

Online gambling statistics show that 54% of all online gambling takes place in Europe, with 15% in the UK alone! The country has 33.6 million accounts registered with licenced gambling platforms that are currently active. 

#27 More than 2,600 businesses are working in the online gambling sector

(Xace)

The UK Gambling Commission has issued more than 2,600 licenses to online gambling companies. Over 175 online casinos are operating in the UK, in addition to all the other gaming and sports betting websites

#28 The gambling industry employs nearly 100,000 people

(Finder)

There are almost 100,000 people employed in the gambling industry in the UK. However, according to online gambling industry statistics for the UK, there is a 7% drop in the number of employees, due to the switch from on-premise to online gambling. 

#29 35% of sports bettors believe they are turning a profit

(Beating Betting)

Of all people betting on sports, 35% believe that they are making a profit through their wagers. Those that bet in-play are two times more likely to believe that they’ve made a profit. Men are more likely to believe they are profitable when betting or gambling (31%) than women (24%). 

#30 The average UK gambler has three online accounts

(Beating Betting)

Gambling facts for the UK show that 44% of all gamblers have at least one account, but most compulsive or problem gamblers have multiple accounts across various platforms. The national average for online gambling accounts comes out to three per user

Wrap Up

When we look at the gambling statistics UK provides, we can see that gambling is a prominent part of British life. People of all ages and social classes participate in some form of gambling, whether it’s buying lottery tickets and scratchcards, betting on sports, or playing casino games. The Brits are persistent in putting their money on games of chance!

Disclaimer: Enjoy gambling, but always practice gambling responsibly.

ABOUT AUTHOR

Alex is an IT wizz gone SEO gone fire-juggler. We’re not even joking. When he isn’t researching why one personal loan is better than the other and which piece of hardware you should buy next, he’s rollerblading or selling homes (because he does that, too, the smarty-pants).

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