The UK Gambling Commission, which initiates regular independent surveys of the British gambling
market to keep its finger on the pulse, reports that the latest information to hand suggests that remote (online) gambling is up 1 percent on last year's numbers.
The rise is mainly attributable to increased Internet activity on the National Lottery, which boosted the proportion of UK adults participating in remote gambling during 2008 to 9.7 percent, up from 8.8 percent the previous year.
Stripping National Lottery online gamblers out of the statistics, the rise in Internet activity was marginal - 5.6 percent of respondents surveyed over the year had participated in at least one form of remote gambling in the previous month, compared with 5.2 percent in 2007 and 5.1 percent in 2006.
Gambling via a computer, laptop or handheld device continued to be the most popular method of remote gambling, with 7.8 percent of respondents choosing this method, up from 6.9 percent during 2007.
Mobile phone gambling was the next most popular method, with 2.9 percent, up from 2.5 percent in 2007. The proportion of respondents gambling via interactive/digital TV also increased, growing to 2.1 percent, from 1.8 percent the previous year.
The most popular form of gambling activity during 2008 was the National Lottery, with 7.1 percent of respondents taking a flutter on tickets during 2008, ahead of National Lottery scratch cards and sports betting, both on 2.4 percent respectively.
The Gambling Commission findings were based on a representative sample of 2 000 adults undertaken by polling organisation ICM.