UK’s Perception of Gambling Declining
by Glenn Baird - February 28, 2020
A survey carried out by the UK’s regulatory body (UKGC) has revealed that the country’s attitude towards gambling is becoming increasingly negative, to the extent that 29% of those who took part have called for an all out ban.
A report was complied as part of a telephone survey that included just over 4000 participants and took place in December last year.
The last time a survey of this sort was carried out only 25% of those questioned wanted to see a complete ban on gambling, 4% less than the one carried out a few months ago.
The survey also found that 82% of those questioned believed that there were too many opportunities for people to gamble nowadays and that 73% believed that gambling is bad for family life, whilst 62% wanted to see gambling discouraged.
Even though the public perception of the gambling industry appears to be at an all time low the number of people gambling remains a steady increase. Of those questioned nearly 50% claimed to have gambled within the last 4 weeks. However it is worth noting that this number falls to 32% when National Lottery participation is excluded.
There are still more men engaged in gambling than women, but there is only a difference of 8% between the genders, which despite confirming that more men gamble than women, does not for one minute suggest that it is a male dominated activity.
The demographic that saw the biggest rise in betting activity was in young people aged between 16 and 24. 40% of them claim to have gambled in the last 4 weeks, an increase of 4% on the same question from the previous year. However the number of 55-64 year old gambling fell by 7%, perhaps suggesting that those of a certain generation are becoming less likely to gamble.
Whilst participation in online gambling increased by a few percept there was a similar level of decline on in play betting and the number of accounts held on average by gamblers remained roughly the same.
At risk gamblers were down from 0.8% to 0.5%. However, of all the questions asked this one could be considered to be the most contentious as there is no way to know if at-risk gamblers can be successfully identified through this sort of survey and with the UKGC facing criticism recently for just that, then maybe we shouldn’t be taking those numbers at face value.
Fewer gamblers had used self-exclusion services and a staggering 53% who were surveyed did not know what a self-exclusion service was, something that the UKGC will be hoping they can rectify in the upcoming months and years. However, 60% stated that they had been made aware of help for gambling addiction from operators.
The National Lottery remains the most popular form of gambling in the UK, with sports betting coming in some way down in second place, the majority of which is now done online.
The percentage of those who have seen gambling advertisements remains at a high of 87%, with just over half of those being viewed on TV.
All of the information gleaned from the survey suggests that whilst many of the key stats remain the same there can be no doubt that the public’s perception of gambling is becoming more negative.