Online Gambling in the UK: General Statistics and the Main Trends of the Industry

Online Gambling in the UK: General Statistics and the Main Trends of the Industry

1. General Summary From the UKGC

  1.1. Popularity of Certain Types of Games

  1.2. National Draws

  1.3. A Little Bit More About the Important Aspects of the Report

  1.4. About the Attitude of Gamblers and New Trends

2. Conclusion

This year, at the beginning of March, the British Gambling Commission provided a report on the development of the gambling industry and the attitude of the local population towards casino games. The results of the annual research are available to the public and consist of fifty-four pages.

Online gambling in the UK: annual research

General Summary From the UKGC

Statistics can be used as a basis for conclusions and readjustment of the activities of local providers and gambling regulators in other countries.

According to the report, about 46% of the respondents have placed at least one bet on sports events during the month before the survey, while 52% of those who confirmed the fact that they have visited the bookmaker’s office gamble every week. As for online services, 18% of the respondents were playing slot games at least once a month.

In any form of gambling entertainment, the male audience is much wider than the female one. Among gamblers, 51% are men, and only 41% of respondents were women.

Speaking about the popularity of certain types of games, the situation looks like this:

  • online slot machines ― 3.7% (compared with the data of 2017, the indicator fell by 0.7%);
  • table games in casinos ― 1.6% (a stable value);
  • bingo ― 2.6%;
  • draws with instant winnings ― 1.2%.

44% of the British use mobile gadgets (phones and tablets) to play casino games, and 45% of players prefer stationary devices. In comparison with the data of 2017, the number of “portable” gamblers has increased by 5%.

The leading branch of the gambling industry in Britain is the lottery (and it has always been like this).

National draws are extremely popular due to the following factors:

  • The direct benefit for the state apparatus. Advertising and promotion of lotteries are much easier since the industry has a direct connection with the activities of the country's treasury and the ministry of sports.
  • The limited number of decisions and actions. For gamblers, it is much easier to buy a ticket at a fixed price than to register on the website, deposit money, stay in tune with bonus programs, and independently set the size of deposits for each particular game.
  • A long period of existence. National draws have a long history and fit perfectly in strict English traditions.

The response of providers was the original adaptation of options for online casinos. On virtual resources, the price of the ticket turned into a fixed deposit or the sum of bets on certain slots. The Play Fortuna gambling house may be a pretty good example (the provider uses software from the Swedish developer NetEnt).

Despite the steady demand, the traditional lottery has shifted to the online market with some significant changes. For example, in contrast to the classic draws, in a virtual game, there may be three hundred winners simultaneously. Draws of additional prizes also take place very often.

Play Fortuna gives its winners VIP trips to sports events at their choice. This approach was taken from the experience of the popular “Housing Lottery”, where the main prize was a country house.

A Little Bit More About the Important Aspects of the Report

More than 96% of gamblers prefer to place bets in the most comfortable and familiar environment, that is, at home. Only 4% of respondents use mobile devices to place a bet exactly during the sporting event. Another 12% of owners of mobile gadgets confessed that they were visiting virtual gambling houses during the working time.

More than 53% of players paid attention to advertising during television broadcasts during the coming week. Interestingly, it was the news television channels that became the most influential factor: after watching an ad for online services, 43% of respondents became interested and wanted to try their luck.

Another factor in favour of visiting a casino is personal experience (this was mentioned by 28% of players). And only for 27% of respondents newspapers became the key factor that made them want to start playing.

One of the four active gamblers tracks themed news feeds in social networks.

The popularity rating of large platforms among the British gamblers looks as follows:

  • Facebook ― 19%;
  • YouTube ― 9%;
  • Twitter ― 8.

High figures of influence of social networks are caused by the growing popularity of social gambling (free games). Also, among active participants, there are significant changes in the age indicators. In comparison with the data of 2017, 28% of users were from twenty-five to thirty-four years old and 20% of respondents in the group of thirty-five to forty-four years old pay attention to news from the world of gambling in social networks (a fall of more than 5%).

The role of the above-mentioned services remained unchanged for the category of respondents for whom gambling does not extend beyond the built-in free application.

If we consider social networks as a news platform, then they are relevant for 66% of players from eighteen to twenty-four years old and for 54% of respondents from twenty-five to thirty-four years old. Despite the fact that the indicators are falling, operators continue to use entertainment platforms as a convenient way of connecting with a live audience.

About the Attitude of Gamblers and New Trends

Only one from five users pays attention to the conditions when they are registering and launching online games. At the same time, the overall responsibility indicator for gamblers increased by 6% compared to 2017 and reached 47%.

According to the opinion of British, the most useful feature on gaming sites is the monthly limit on the replenishment of funds to the account (9% of respondents use this option regularly).

As for motives for gambling, the situation is as follows:

  • visits to online casinos for fun ― 29%;
  • playing games to win a jackpot hoping that it would change the life ― 19%;
  • game for the sake of victory ― 45%.

Compared to the data of the last year, the level of loyalty of customers to online services has increased by more than 3%. About 30% of respondents trust the casino. However, 38% believe that gambling is directly related to shadow markets and crime (the negative feedback is 4% less).

79% of British gamblers think that the number of opportunities for gambling is unreasonably high. Another 62% of respondents support the right of access to the gaming industry at the request of users.

In comparison with national lotteries and sports betting, online casinos are still treated with a high degree of mistrust. There are fewer kinds of virtual entertainment on the market since it has not passed the period of adaptation yet.

Nevertheless, it is impossible not to notice the rapid growth of players' awareness, a gradual increase in the level of loyalty, and stable assessments to the budget from the gambling sector.


The British gambling policy continues to be more than successful. Of course, it would be carelessly to hope for instant results but the trends look very promising.

According to experts, the main stumbling stone is the comfort zone: to move from traditional lotteries with a long history to Internet websites, the average user will have to learn new rules and make much more decisions. Nevertheless, the stable environment and the loyal attitude of the government make the UK gambling a profitable sector for investing money and launching new gambling services.

Gaminator specialists are always aware of the gambling industry trends. We are ready to advise, help with the licensing, launch and promotion of your online business. Contact us today!



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