Gambling & Cryptocurrency Writer
The realm of gambling encompasses a wide range of activities, including horse racing bets and participation in the National Lottery. By examining the most recent gambling statistics, we gain insights into how individuals in the UK allocate their funds and whether responsible gambling practices are being followed. While gambling can provide entertainment, it is crucial to acknowledge the potential drawbacks, both evident and subtle. Engaging in excessive gambling can lead to financial debt and adversely impact one’s creditworthiness, affecting future borrowing opportunities. Therefore, it is imperative to approach gambling with caution and responsibility to mitigate these risks.
In the period from April 2022 to March 2023, the gross gambling yield for the UK gambling industry reached £14.1 billion. During this time, 44% of Brits engaged in gambling activities at least once. On average, individuals spent £141 per year or £2.70 per week on betting and gaming. The number of ‘problem gamblers’ in the UK is estimated to be 168,149, representing a 50% increase from 2022. Notably, individuals aged between 20-24 are the most susceptible to developing gambling-related issues. Men are over seven times more likely to become problem gamblers compared to women. Additionally, in 2023, over a quarter of Brits (27.6%) participated in the National Lottery. Furthermore, UK adults collectively spent a total of £3.3 billion on betting and gaming activities. It is worth mentioning that online gambling participation has seen a significant surge, with a 78.4% increase in March 2023 compared to April 2020. Among online gambling options, real event betting has proven to be 35% more popular than online slots.
In the year leading up to March 2023, approximately 44% of individuals aged 16 and above in the UK engaged in gambling activities at least once. Additionally, around 26% of the population participated in online gambling. These figures represent a slight increase from the previous year’s statistics, where 43% of individuals gambled in the year leading up to March 2022, and 40% in the year leading up to March 2021. However, it is important to note that these percentages remain lower than the pre-pandemic rate of 47% in the year leading up to March 2020.
Regarding in-person gambling participation, there has been minimal change since 2022, with the rate remaining stable at 27%. However, this figure is still lower than the pre-pandemic rate of 35%.
The number of problem gamblers in the UK has seen a significant increase, rising by approximately 50% to an estimated 168,149 individuals, accounting for 0.3% of those participating in gambling activities. This is higher than the estimated 112,000 individuals (0.2%) in 2022. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that the current figure remains lower than the overall problem gambling rate of 0.6% in 2020.
The National Lottery draws hold the highest popularity among gambling activities in the UK, with an estimated 27.6% of the adult population participating in the year leading up to March 2023. Other lottery types closely follow at 13.4%, while scratchcards hold a participation rate of 7.5%.
On the other hand, spread betting emerges as the least popular form of gambling, with only 0.3% of individuals taking part. Virtual dog or horse races and real-life dog races follow closely behind, both with a participation rate of 0.4%.
How much money is spent on gambling in the UK?
During the period from April 2022 to March 2023, it is estimated that UK adults collectively spent a significant amount of £3.3 billion on betting and gaming activities. Out of this total, around 30% of the receipts, equivalent to £990 million, came from Lottery Duty.
Considering that approximately 44% of UK adults engage in gambling, this implies that the average individual spends approximately £141 per year or £2.70 per week on betting and gaming.
In March 2023, the online gambling landscape saw a significant rise in active players, with approximately 14 million individuals engaging in various verticals. The largest operators, accounting for around 80% of the online gambling market, contributed to this growth. This figure marks a substantial increase of 78.4% compared to April 2020, which had just under 10 million active players.
Among the different forms of online gambling, real event betting emerged as the most popular in March 2023, with over 6.5 million participants. Conversely, poker experienced the lowest level of popularity, with only 230,685 players engaging in the game during the same month.
Interestingly, real event betting witnessed a decline in popularity, with the number of players decreasing from nearly 8 million in April 2022 to slightly over 6 million in March 2023, representing a 14.2% decrease. On the other hand, online slots experienced a notable increase, with the player count rising from 3 million to over 4 million during the same period, reflecting a 15.5% increase.
In the year leading up to March 2022, the gross gambling yield (GGY) for the UK gambling industry as a whole amounted to £14.1 billion. This figure represents the total amount retained by gambling operators after paying out winnings to players.
Moving on to the year ending in March 2023, the gross GGY for online gambling with the largest operators reached £4.9 billion. During this period, March 2023 recorded the highest GGY for online gambling, amounting to £495 million, while February 2023 had the lowest GGY at £352 million. Notably, there was a 40% increase in GGY for online gambling within a single month.
Among the various categories of online gambling, slots proved to be the most lucrative, generating a total GGY of £2.25 billion. On the other hand, sports betting yielded the lowest returns for gambling providers, with a GGY of £7.7 million.
Recent estimates indicate that there are approximately 168,149 individuals in the UK who are classified as problem gamblers. Among them, 148,004 are men, while 20,145 are women. This data suggests that men are over seven times more likely to experience gambling-related issues compared to women.
Furthermore, there are over 1.3 million men and 390,656 women who are considered to be at some level of risk from gambling, indicating a potential vulnerability to developing gambling problems.
Interestingly, young adults aged between 20-24 are the age group most susceptible to experiencing gambling-related issues. Within this age range, an estimated 42,702 individuals are classified as problem gamblers, with a total of 335,859 individuals at risk of developing gambling-related problems.