According to the Gambling Commission, UK gambling participation noticed a notable decline last year, 2020. According to a statement by the commission, the gambling participation among players in the UK fell down sharply in 2020. On the other hand, it witnessed a considerable increase in online play, in contradiction with the dramatic fall to the retail sector. According to the data that the gambling commission collected regarding the gambling activity, it showed that among adults, gambling participation decreased to 42%. Such a number represents a decrease of 5% when compared to 2019. Between 2019 and last year, all genders and age categories showed a level of decline in UK gambling participation rates. The sharpest drop that the numbers showed were among men and the younger age groups.
Online Gambling Goes Up – UK Gambling Participation in Person Goes Down
Online gambling participation witnessed a 3% increase to reach 24%. On the other hand, in-person UK gambling participation went down 9% to reach 26%. As for national lottery draws, as well as other lotteries, they also witnessed an online increase, with in-person participation going the other way. When excluding those who only participated in the National Lottery, the participation will go down from 32% in 2018 to 28% last year. The decrease in UK participation includes other activities as well. There were decreases in bingo, horse races, UK casinos, in-person football bets, and more.
Gambling Commission Comments on the Declining Numbers
According to a spokesperson from the Gambling Commission, the events and special circumstances of last year effectively changed the consumers’ behavior. He said that it had been a unique year up until December of 2020. It also had a huge impact on the gambling industry as a whole, especially the in-person UK gambling market.
The UKGC has gathered the data through its quarterly telephone survey through Yonder Consulting. It used a representative sample that included 4007 adults aged 16+. They interviewed them via phone in March, June, September as well as December of 2002. The UKGC also found that the overall problem gambling rate reached 0.3%, compared to double that number last year. Although, the commission stated that the decrease is not really statistically significant. The moderate risk rate stayed stable at 0.9%, while the low-risk rate showed a considerable decrease to reach 2% from 2.7%. The phone survey about UK gambling participation also found the level of agreement that gambling in the UK is conducted fairly. The agreement stayed stable about the trustworthiness of gambling at 29%.
The BGC (Betting and Gaming Council) has welcomed the decrease in problem gambling rate. It also vowed that the industry is going to keep up this positive momentum. They aim to further decrease the rate. The executive director for innovation and standards of the BGC stated that they have worked tirelessly to enhance the standards and make gambling safer since they were established in 2019. Their initiatives included encouraging the application of deposit limits, investing in research, treatment, and education. They also want to introduce new rules for game designs and VIP schemes.