Latest UK gambling trends reveal a fast-changing market

The overall number of adult gamblers in the UK stands at 17% of the adult (18+) population, equating to 8.6 million people and representing 4% growth on a year ago. Latest data from the BetScope study of trends in gambling behaviour and attitudes undertaken by Kantar Media reveals some key gambling behaviour themes in the UK today.

The ongoing rise of online, driven by mobile gambling

The proportion of adults who have gambled online ‘within the last month’ has risen 0.7% points (360,000 people) in the last year, whilst for retail gambling it has fallen 0.4% or 170,000 people.

The rise of popularity in online gambling (online gambling last 12 months) is in particular being driven by use of smartphones and tablets, which is up 1.6% points to four million adults, compared to 2.8 million just two years ago.

Those who only gamble at retail outlets (in last 12 months) fell sharply in the last year by 6.7% and retail now accounts for just 43% of the solus market (compared to 57% for online). However, when it comes to the market as a whole, two thirds of gamblers use retail, though an increasing number of these customers are now also using other channels to bet.

Horse racing dominates retail gambling, but for online it is football

For retail gambling, horse racing remains the biggest sport, but for online it is very much football that is pre-eminent, witnessing sustained long term growth. Both sports are far more popular for gambling purposes than the next favourites of golf, dogs and tennis.

The sheer buzz of betting underpins much gambling motivation

Top motivations behind gambling are adding to the excitement and winning money to spend elsewhere. Indeed, the prospect of gain has seen the biggest percentage point growth in the last year, with the motivation of taking a chance at winning big money up 4% points.

Top attitudes towards gambling activity generally are primarily oriented around a measured, strategic approach. Top attitudes agreed with here are having a fixed budget set aside for gambling and betting only on games that one fully understands.

Simplicity is key when it comes to choosing who to gamble with online

When it comes to online betting, the top factors in choosing a brand are oriented around its straightforwardness, with ease of navigation, reliability and the quick and easy nature of placing bets all top factors.

What is primarily stopping those who only undertake retail gambling from switching to online are a preference for winnings in cash and convenience – though the popularity of these reasons has dipped in recent years, whilst consideration of using a mobile device to gamble has risen quickly in popularity.

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