One way the British are coping with the recession is by turning to betting. A recent study shows a dramatic rise in UK gambling habits.
The main regulating and licensing body in the UK, the Gambling Commission, conducted a study in 2009 that surveyed over 7,000 people from a cross section of the populace to investigate gambling habits. The results of that study have now been published. They highlight a steep upward trend in the frequency of gambling as well as the amount spent and show that more Britons than ever before are gambling. This appears to coincide with a greater acceptance of the industry in UK society along with the rise in the availability and accessibility of gambling over the Internet.
The Omnibus Survey has highlighted that 55.2% of the people surveyed had gambled in one form or another in the last month. The biggest draw of all was the National Lottery, accounting for 45.7% of the number surveyed buying lottery tickets and 10.8% buying scratch cards. The activities that were next most popular were placing bets on horse racing, followed by slot machine gambling and then private betting amongst friends or family members.
With regards to online gambling, 10.5% of the people questioned had participated in one or more forms of remote gambling in 2009. This is an increase on the 2008 figure of 9.7% obtained in a similar survey that year and demonstrates the continued growth in this area despite the economic recession. Interestingly, when this type of survey was first introduced in 2006, the initial figure was only 7.2%.
The survey also took into consideration the public perception of all forms of gambling. It found that almost half (49.6%) of those questioned believed that gambling conducted in the UK was fair and could be trusted.
Interestingly, while traditional and online forms of gambling still attract predominantly male players, online gambling attracts a much younger age profile than traditional forms with an increase in female players over previous years.