30+ Gambling Statistics in the UK that Will Sweeten the Pot in 2021

Aside from enjoying chips with their fish, Brits seem to be even hungrier for gambling chips. Some satisfy their hunger in casinos, while some gamble from the comfort of their own home. 

Even the Queen herself has played the National Lottery, meaning the betting and gambling industry is spreading by the minute. So if you’re eager to get the dice rolling, our gambling statistics in the UK will tell you everything you need to know about bookmakers and punters.

Let’s go all-in and find out!

Ten Gambling Stats that Hit the Jackpot

  • A third of Brits gamble once a week. 
  • 29.6% of casino gamblers thought they were profitable.
  • 31.2% of Britons aged 16 to 24 were gambling in 2020.
  • Only 3% of gambling addicts get help.
  • Great Britain’s gross gambling yield decreased to £14.22 billion in 2019-2020.
  • The remote gambling sector made the biggest profit during 2019-2020
  • 12.93% of people in the UK regularly bet on sports. 
  • 27.3% of Brits participated in the national lottery in 2020.
  • 19.23 million people visited British casinos in 2018.
  • A 21% increase in new exclusions was recorded in February 2021. 

Gambling Statistics in the UK

1. 24 million adult Brits were gamblers in 2020. 

(European Business Review) 

The latest gambling UK statistics indicate that 10.5 million (or almost half) of all gamblers resorted to betting online. This means that just over 45% of Britons gambled in some way every month. 

2. A third of Brits gamble once a week. 

(Statista)

According to a 2020 Statista survey, 22.1% of respondents participated in gambling at least two days a week. Still, the greater part of respondents, or 32.2%, tried their luck once a week, while only 14,9% said they gambled less than once a month. 

3. UK households in the ninth decile group spent an average of £2.90 on gambling.

(Statista)

While households belonging to the ninth decile group spent the most on gambling a week in 2020, UK gambling statistics show that the second decile group is at the bottom of the list, giving out an average of £1.90 on this activity per week. Among the bigger spenders are the third and fourth decile groups, with a weekly average of £2.7 and £2.6, respectively.

Seen by age, however, it is households with a reference person aged 65 to 74 that spend the most on gambling—an average of £3.2 a week, a 2020 Statista survey shows. By contrast, interviews with a household reference person under 30 spent £1.1 a week on gambling, the lowest of all age groups. 

4. 29.6% of casino gamblers thought they were profitable.

(Beating Betting)

Apparently, Brits have mastered the art of betting on sports as 35.3% of them consider themselves profitable. However, judging by a survey on gambling in the UK, regular players are more likely to think they turned a profit than those who participate in gambling occasionally. Thus, 41.24% of all sports bettors who wager on a regular basis think they are profitable. Similarly, regular casino players are over two times more likely to think they made money from gambling than occasional players. 

5. About 70% of gamblers believed they had lost less than £100 on gambling in 2018.

(Statista)

It seems Brits love to gamble, but now when to stop. An online survey reveals that a large share of respondents (69.86%) believe they lost less than a hundred pounds on gambling. More reassuring gambling UK statistics show that only 0.71% of high rollers believed they forked tens of thousands of pounds on wagering. Another 8.51% thought they blew thousands, while 20.92% calculated they had spent hundreds since they started gambling. 

6. 31.2% of Britons aged 16 to 24 were gambling in 2020.

(Statista)

When it comes to what age group gambles the most, it’s UK residents aged 45 to 54 that come out on top—48.4% of respondents from this age group were gamblers. This generation is followed by 55-64-year olds (46.5%) and the 35-44 age bracket (45.8%). 

7. Around 44.5% of men participated in one or more forms of gambling in 2020.

(Statista)

The gambling participation demographics show that in 2020, 39.8% of women in Britain participated in at least one type of gambling. The men to women ratio has remained steady over the last three years; however, women’s participation in 2020 noted a decrease of 3.9% from 2019, when it stood at 43.5%.

Problem Gambling UK Statistics

8. There are approximately 280,000 problem gamblers in England.

(The Guardian)

A YouGov survey, however, estimates that there could be 1.4 million problem gamblers across the country. In addition to losing money, over a quarter of those seeking treatment reported that they had lost their relationship and another 12% their job because of gambling. 

Gambling addiction statistics in the UK also suggest that it’s not just bettors who suffer from their habit. 13% of people seeking help for gambling-related problems are not gamblers themselves, but rather people who have been harmed by someone else’s gambling addiction.

9. 0.4% of problem gamblers were younger individuals aged 16-24.

(Statista)

A survey on problem gambling in the UK reports that the largest share of gambling addicts are between the ages of 25 to 34. By contrast, no individuals over 65 years had a gambling addiction. 

10. 37% of children aged 11-16 gambled in England and Scotland during 2020.

(Gambling Commission)

The UK Gambling Commission conducted a survey on underage gambling and found that 1.9% of 11-16-year-olds are problem gamblers. Furthermore, Gambling Commission statistics report that half of the individuals of this age group have gambled at some point, 51% of whom had a parent or a guardian present the last time they gambled.

11. 46 people younger than 25 visited a hospital due to gambling addiction in 2019.

(NHS England)

The 321 gambling-related hospital cases, which have increased dramatically over the past six years, confirm that gambling addiction has become a pressing issue in the UK. Moreover, the NHS estimated that approximately 400,000 people were experiencing addiction and a shocking 2 million were at risk of becoming problem gamblers. 

12. Only 3% of gambling addicts get help.

(National Gambling Treatment Service)

Statistics on gambling addiction in the UK estimated that a total of 9,008 people received treatment by gambling services in Great Britain during 2019-2020, 75% of which were male. Most of the people with a gambling addiction came from a White ethnic background, with 81% White British and 5% White European. 

Speaking of marital status, it’s noteworthy that 36% of clients were in a relationship, and 29% were married, whereas only 2% were divorced. In addition, the majority of gamblers seeking help were employed (75%), and only a small percentage did not have jobs (9%) or were retired (2%). 

Gambling Industry Statistics

13. Great Britain’s gross gambling yield decreased to £14.22 billion in 2019-2020.

(Statista) (Gambling Commission) 

The latest data from the Gambling Commission show that the total gross gambling yield in Great Britain amounted to £5.9 billion between April and September 2020. This is a slight decrease compared to the £14.22 billion that the gambling industry in Britain generated from April 2019 to March 2020. In fact, the gambling industry has been seeing a steady decline since April 2018/March 2019 when the GGY fell down to £14.31 billion from £14.41 billion recorded the previous year. 

14. The remote gambling sector made the biggest profit during 2019-2020.

(Gambling Commission)

Aside from a minor decrease from April 2018 to March 2019, the remote betting, casino, and bingo gambling industry in Great Britain saw an expected increase in the gross gambling yield during 2019-2020. This sector produced a staggering £5.7 billion from April 2019 to March 2020, an 8.1% increase compared to the previous year’s £5.3 billion.

However, UK gambling industry statistics show a substantial decrease to £3.1 billion in the period from April to September 2020. The remote bingo sector saw the biggest decline from £175.8 million to £98.12 million.

15. The bingo industry’s gross gambling yield reached £575.23 million during 2019-2020.

(Gambling Commission)

Over the past 5 years, the non-remote bingo industry’s GGY in Great Britain has been steadily moving downwards to reach £635.9 million in the timeframe from April 2019 to March 2020. 

The gaming machines in betting premises also suffered a sharp drop of 41% in gross gambling yield from April 2019 to March 2020. Recent UK gambling industry statistics show that British gaming machines in bingo premises generated £42.48 million, while gaming machines in casino premises accumulated only £18.53 million from April to September 2020. 

Another sector with a significant loss is the non-remote casino industry which recorded a GGY of £67.03 million from April to September 2020, a dramatic downfall from 2018-2019 when it reached one billion pounds.

16.  87,274 people were employed in the gambling industry in the UK in 2019.

(Statista)

At the end of September 2019, the betting industry had the most employees among all gambling sectors with 46,123 people. As per the casino industry statistics in the UK, the bingo and casino sections had a lot fewer employees, i.e. 11,559 and 12,983 people accordingly. 

The number of employees has been on the decline, mostly due to the rise of remote gambling. Arcades saw the largest reduction in the number of employees over the last decade—from 24,410 in 2010 to 10,046 nine years later. 

17. Over 18 million people gambled in licensed gambling premises in 2019.

(Gambling Commission)

Before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there were a total of 9,745 premises authorised for gambling in Great Britain. Nevertheless, this number has been slowly declining to reach 9,036 in September 2020, representing a 10.8% drop since March 2020.

Per the Gambling Commission industry statistics, the number of betting shops reduced by 12.3%, going down to 6,735 in September 2020. A drop in working casinos is also noticeable, with only 131 active casino premises in September 2020, 22 less than in March 2019. The number of bingo premises fell from 652 in March 2019 to 601 in September 2020.

18. The number of gaming machines in Great Britain increased by 6% in 2020. 

(Statista) (Gambling Commission)

From April 2019 to March 2020, there were 191,826 gaming machines in Great Britain. The number has been steadily growing over the last decade, with only a minimal decrease being recorded in the timeframe from April 2017 through March 2018. Despite the growth in the number of gaming machines, revenue went down by almost a quarter (25.6%) to £2.1 billion in the same period. 

19. 29,273 permits were issued during 2019-2020.

(Gambling Commission)

The same gambling in the UK statistics show that in the period between 2018-2019, the total number of issued permits was 51,607. This means that 2020 saw a dramatic drop of 43% in issued licenses. 

20. 85% of consumers have seen gambling advertisements or sponsorships in 2020.

(Gambling Commission)

The majority of the respondents in the Gambling Commission’s 2020 survey (76%) stated that they saw gambling ads on the telly. Intriguingly, 41% heard adverts on the radio, while 37% of participants received advertisements via email or texts, making this the least used channel. 

Online Gambling Statistics in the UK

21. 29.3% of Brits aged 35-44 gambled online every month in 2020.

(Statista) 

British residents of ages 35-44 gambled more than other generations on a monthly level. This age group also recorded the biggest yearly rise in gamblers, growing by 4.2% from 2019 to 2020. 

Contrariwise, UK online gambling statistics report that Brits aged 65 and over have the lowest monthly remote gambling participation with only 14.2% in 2020. Still, this number is an increase of almost 3% compared to four years previously when only 11.3% of retirees said they gambled online on a monthly basis. 

22. The online gambling sector gathered revenue of £5.7 billion in 2020.

(Gambling Commission)

As claimed by online gambling industry statistics, the remote gambling industry made up 39.9%% of total gambling revenue in April 2019/March 2020, an increase of 8.1% compared to the previous period. The remote sector is fueled by online casinos (£3.2 billion) and remote betting (£2.3 billion). On the other hand, remote bingo brings in a slightly lower GGY of £176.8 million. 

The most recent online gambling statistics in the UK (April 2020 to September 2020) point out that the online sector generated a gross gambling yield of £3.1 billion. 

23. Online bettors owned an average of three accounts in 2020.

(Gambling Commission)

Looking back at the past couple of years, the average number of online gambling accounts settled at around three per person. Nevertheless, the number slightly increased in 2020 with 3.2 accounts per person, as opposed to the average of 2.7 accounts in 2018.

Online gambling industry statistics suggest men are more likely to have accounts, holding an average of 3.6. On the other hand, women own a mean of 2.8 accounts.

24.  The majority of people participated in online gambling from home in 2020.

(Gambling Commission)

96% of British citizens took part in remote gambling from their homes, just 1% more than in 2019. Even though the home remains the most common location for gambling online, 8% still stated they gambled at a pub or a club. On top of that, 15% gambled at work in 2019, or 4% more than in 2020. 

25. 50% of online gamblers access UK gambling sites via smartphone.

(Gambling Commission)

Unsurprisingly, smartphone use is most favoured by younger Brits aged 18-34 (over three quarters as opposed to just 14% of those 65 and over). 

Laptops are the second favourite, with 40% of gamblers using them for remote gambling. 

Smart TVs are the least widespread method of online gambling, used by only 3% of gamblers. Yet, the use of smart TVs grew impressively among the younger generation between 18-24, doubling (from 5% to 10%) between 2019 and 2020.

26. About 200,000 people played on illegal gambling sites in 2020.

(Betting and Gaming Council)

Illegal gambling statistics in the UK tell us that an astounding 27 million visits were made from UK IP addresses, generating £1.4 billion in bets. The size of the “black market” is not surprising, considering that 38% of search results for gambling keywords lead to unauthorised operators. 

Betting Statistics in the UK

27. 35.1% of UK citizens bet once a week.

(Statista)

Betting seems to be a favourite pastime for Brits as a third of them place wagers at least once a week, a survey by Statista on UK betting frequency reveals. What’s more, an almost equally large share of 25.4% bet more than two days a week. Finally, only 18.6% of respondents stated they place bets less than once a month.

28. 12.93% of people in the UK regularly bet on sports. 

(Statista) 

A much larger percentage (45.33%) only placed wagers from time to time, while 41.73% admitted that they had never participated in sports betting. Despite the lower number of regular players, UK sports betting statistics and surveys indicate that almost 6% of Brits had wagered on sports events at least once a month. 

29. 46.7% of the total amount spent on betting in the UK was on football.

(Business First Online)

Football was by far the most popular sport to bet on in 2019, accounting for almost half of the money spent on betting. Other sports Brits enjoy placing money on include horse races (23.7% of all money spent), tennis (5.9%), and other sports that make up 10.6% of the total spendings. 

30. The non-remote betting sector’s gross gambling yield fell to £2.4 billion in 2020.

(Statista) (Gambling Commission) 

Ever since reaching its peak in 2016, the gross gambling yield of the non-remote betting industry has been moving downwards to a record-low of £629.3 million between April and September of last year. 

31. In 2020, the annual dog race betting turnover stood at £987.87 million in 2020.

(Statista)

After a slight decline in the period between April 2018 and March 2019 when it reached £941.66, the yearly dog race betting turnover rose by 5% between April 2019 and March 2020.

Football pools suffered a serious decrease in turnover over the past few years, accumulating only £3.93 million from April 2018 to March 2019. According to bet stats, this reflects a drop of £1.49 million from the previous year.

Horse racing gambling statistics also indicate a decline in annual turnover. Namely, horse race betting in the UK dropped to £3,953.31 million, a decrease of over 200 thousand pounds.

Stats on Other Types of Gambling in the UK

32. 27.3% of Brits participated in the national lottery in 2020.

(Statista)

The majority of British citizens seem to favour the national lottery, making it the most popular gambling activity across the country. Right behind it are other lotteries and scratchcards, played by 12.1% and 8.1% of the population, respectively. 

33. The eSports market grew 8.5% from 2016 to 2019.

(Gambling Commission)

According to the latest UK gaming industry statistics, 9% of British adults have taken part in eSports betting. This is a solid 6% rise from 2019. It is the younger players aged 18-34 who are fueling the industry’s expansion as a fifth of them stated they bet on eSports. These gaming statistics also point out that 36% of males of the 18 to 24 generation participated in eSports betting.

UK Casino Statistics

34. 19.23 million people visited British casinos in 2018.

(Statista)

The casino attendance in Great Britain has been slowly decreasing since its height of 20.99 million visitors during the period of April 2014 to March 2015. In 2016-2017, this number fell to 19.72 million, continuing to decline to 19.23 million between April 2017 and March 2018. Despite declining numbers, casinos are an integrated part of British culture, with casino games being played in the UK for centuries

35. The non-remote casino sector recorded a gross gambling yield of £67.03 million in 2020.

(Gambling Commission)

This amount reflects a substantial reduction of £201.8 million since the period of April to June 2019. The larger part of the revenue comes from casino games which contributed £48.49 million.

Casino profit statistics tell us that the remote casino sector’s gross gambling yield was £1,039.10 million between April and June 2020. Moving into the period from July to September 2020, the number declined by £140.22 million, per online casino statistics. 

Slots and roulette made up the biggest amounts of £641.92 and £109 million respectively, while blackjack brought a profit of £40.27 million.

36. The casino win value of blackjack reached £160.14 million in 2019.

(Statista)

Additionally, the drop value was about £766 million, around £23 million less than the year before. In comparison, the win rate of American roulette was £327.93 million, whereas 3 hand poker only gathered £59.5 million in 2019.

Self-Exclusion Statistics

37. Over 42,000 new self-exclusions were made in the betting sector in 2018.

(Statista) 

The number of new self-exclusions for betting via GAMSTOP has been on the rise for the past few years. Thus, bingo self-exclusions have witnessed an increase of 208,000 since 2017, reaching the decade’s peak of 1,380,000 in 2018. Conversely, casino self-exclusions saw a minimal decline, coming down to around 6.7 thousand people. 

38. A 21% increase in new exclusions was recorded in February 2021. 

(The Guardian)

The number of gamblers who have signed up for self-exclusion reached an all-time high on 22 February when GAMSTOP saw 326 new registrations in just one day. According to data from the national self-exclusion scheme, younger people are more likely to self-exclude themselves from gambling—59% of all registrants with the service belong to that age bracket. 

39. 18.14 thousand self-exclusion breaches from the betting sector were registered in 2018.

(Statista) 

20.48 thousand breaches were documented from April 2014 to March 2015, representing the peak over the years. The number of self-exclusion breaches reached 3,082 in the casino sector and 373 in the bingo section between April 2017 and March 2018.

Tapping Out

Despite economic recessions, pandemics and crypto-currency volatility, gambling statistics from the UK show a thriving industry that continues to bring in billions in gross gambling yields and effortlessly attract new clients. The ability to adapt to new conditions and demands, combined with the thrill of the experience and the chance to win big, are just some of the things that have ensured the prosperity of the gambling business for years and will continue to do so in the future.

Sources:

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