Survey results from UK Gambling Commission released

Over 7 000 gamblers provide base information

The UK Gambling Commission has released the latest in its ongoing series of independently commissioned surveys of the gambling industry in that country. The study was based on two separate sets of questions commissioned by the Gambling Commission in omnibus surveys conducted by ICM Research.

The first set of questions measures participation in all types of gambling activity (including by remote means); the second set measures participation in remote forms of gambling (that is gambling through a computer, mobile phone or interactive/digital TV).

The following key findings for the year ended December 2009 emerged:

1) 55.2 percent of the 7 000 adults surveyed said they had participated in at least one form of gambling in the previous four weeks.

2) The most popular gambling activity remained National Lottery tickets (45.7 percent of respondents), followed by tickets for society or other good cause lotteries (10.9 percent) and National Lottery scratchcards (10.8 percent). Betting on horse races, fruit or slot machine gambling, and private betting and gaming with family and friends were the next most popular activities (3.4 percent, 3.3 percent and 3.3 percent respectively).

3) Those participating in gambling were more likely to be male than female, and were more likely to be aged over 45.

Specific remote gambling participation studies showed:

1) 10.5 percent of the 8 000 adults surveyed said they had participated in at least one form of remote gambling in the previous month. Around half of these had participated only in National Lottery products.

2) The above figure compares with the 2008 calendar year figure of 9.7 percent, the 2007 calendar year figure of 8.8 percent and the 2006 calendar year figure of 7.2 percent ie Growth of around 1 percentage point per annum.

3) This growth in participation in remote gambling is explained very largely by increased online participation in the National Lottery. If those only playing National Lottery products remotely are excluded, 5.7 percent of respondents had participated in remote gambling in the year to December 2009, compared with 5.6 percent in 2008, 5.2 percent in 2007 and 5.1 percent in 2006.

4) Overall, in the year to December 2009, 8.3 percent of respondents said they had remotely purchased tickets for the National Lottery draw in the previous month (either only or in addition to other types of gambling activity).

5) Those participating in remote gambling were more likely to be male than female, and were more likely to be aged 18-44.

6) Remote gambling via a computer, laptop or handheld device was most popular (9.1 percent of all respondents), followed by gambling via mobile phone (2.8 percent) and interactive/digital TV (1.9 percent).

Full details are available at the rsearch company's website at

Key findings in the public perceptions of gambling generally study provided some interesting food for thought and included:

1) Asked whether they thought UK gambling was fair and could be trusted, 49.6 percent of 4 000 adults surveyed agreed that this was the case. This compares with 48.8 percent in 2008.

2) Over the same period, 41.3 percent agreed with the statement that gambling in the UK is associated with criminal activity. This compares with 42.0 percent in the previous year.

3) Participation in gambling is associated with a more positive perception of gambling, with past-year gamblers more likely than past-year non-gamblers to agree that gambling is conducted fairly and can be trusted (60.3 percent compared with 30.2 percent respectively) and less likely to associate gambling with criminal activity (38.2 percent and 46.7 percent respectively).

4) The category of crime that respondents most associate with gambling is ‘Thefts committed by gambling addicts to support their addiction’ (14.0 percent of respondents), followed by ‘Money laundering’ (7.9 percent), ‘Violent crime’ (7.4 percent) and ‘Other serious/organised crime’ (7.0 percent).

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